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East outlasts West in the PFCA All-Star game, 41-34, with a classic goal line stand

Written by: on Sunday, May 21st, 2023. Follow Joseph Santoliquito on Twitter.


HARRISBURG, PA — For three guys who never played next to each other before, you would swear Northern Lehigh’s Jayden Krempasky, Hamburg’s Charles Sheppard and Mahoney Area’s David Sanchez had been playing next to each other for years.

With Sanchez in the middle, Krempasky to his right, and Sanchez on the left, the three cinderblocks prevented the West All-Stars from driving into the end zone with 8 seconds left to preserve the East All-Star’s 41-34 victory on Sunday in the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association (PFCA) East-West Small School All-Star game at Bishop McDevitt’s Rocco Ortenzio Stadium in Harrisburg.

Berks Catholic’s Josiah Jordan was the East MVP, with two TD receptions on a long kickoff return to create a third, while Central Martinsburg’s Jeff Hoenstine was the West MVP, bringing the West team back when the game seemed over.

In the end, it came down to the firm line of Krempasky, Sanchez and Sheppard.

“It’s an honor, and having come down t us makes it even more special,” said Krempasky, who is playing football for the last time, since he will not play in college. “This is it for me, with the McDonald All-Star coming next. I’ll remember that goal line stand.”

Sheppard, who is going to Kutztown, said this is the first time he was ever a part of this season where the game came down to a goal-line stand. What was a fun all-star game got very real at the end. Sheppard told his coach during a timeout that he was going to stop the quarterback.

“It’s a feeling, with this being my last high school football, that I’ll always remember,” Sheppard said. “It did get real there in the end. When coach called a timeout, I went up to the coach and said I would line up inside the guard and make the tackle.”

It’s what Sheppard did—with the help of Krempasky and Sanchez.

Sanchez will be going off the Juniata College to continue playing.

“It was nice to have it come down to us and definitely something special,” said Sanchez who asked East coach Matt Gingrich, from Annville-Cleona, to put him back into the game, since he had been rotated out on West’s last drive.

“The play before, I told coach to put me on,” Sanchez said. “It was honor to be here for great players across the state and I get to go out a winner—and I had something to do with it.”

Jordan had a huge role in it. He scored on 47-yard pass from Northern Lehigh’s Nick Frame in second quarter and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Xander Menapace in the third. He set up Menapace’s 4-yard second-quarter score with a long kickoff return.

He was electric every time he had the ball in his hands.

“I spoke all up on my ride up here how much joy football brings me,” said Jordan, who will attend Division III Wilkes University for both basketball and football. “I felt great. I played great. It was great to out winning. You want to win, but you want to make it real.”

Hoenstine almost made it too real. The quicksilver 5-foot-9, 180-pound quarterback scrambled the West back into contention, after his team was down, 34-20, with 10:03 left. With 8 seconds left, on fourth-and-one from the one, he placed the West on the perch of sending the game into overtime.

It’s when he ran into Sheppard, Krempasky and Sanchez.

“It was great playing with the best players across Pennsylvania,” said Hoenstine, who is projected to play quarterback at Division I FCS St. Francis. “It was a really cool experience competing against the best. Sometimes when plays aren’t there, you have to extend the play for as long as you can. It goes back to playing backyard football with your friends, running around, looking for an opening.

“There’s nothing like playing high school football. This was about just going out and being a high school football player. It was an awesome experience. I have a feeling it will hit me later how much I’ll miss it when I take the pads off.”

Scoring Summary

West 0 13 0 21-34

East 7 14 6 14-41

1st Quarter

East – Izaiah Ramos 16 PASS from Xander Menapace (Ian Levering kick), 3:34

2nd Quarter  

West – Garrett Harrold 1 YD RUN (Sam Sheppard kick), 9:06

East –  Josiah Jordan 47 YD PASS from Nick Frame (Andrew Kurtas kick), 7:23

West – John Sabo 26 YD PASS from Jeff Hoenstine (Two-Point Conversion No Good), 3:41

East – Xander Menapace 4 YD RUN (Ian Levering kick), 2:59

3rd Quarter

East – Josiah Jordan 6 YD PASS from Xander Menapace (Andrew Kurtas kick missed), 4:44

4th Quarter

West – Grayden Lewis 16 YD PASS from Jeff Hoenstine (Collin Yeatts kick). 11:55

East – Nick Frame 1 YD RUN (Ian Levering kick), 10:03

West – Aiden Ortz 94 YD KICK RETURN (Collin Yeatts kick), 9:48

East – Nick Frame 10 YD RUN (Ian Levering kick), 6:02

West – Ashton Rex 3 YD PASS from Garrett Harrold (Collin Yeatts kick), 3:17

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been covering high school football since 1992 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on Twitter @JSantoliquito. Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball.

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

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