Thoughts from the Holiday Classic

I was up in Sacramento today for the Holiday Classic All-Star Football Game at Grant and watched a pretty good contest featuring a ton of stud athletes. In the end, the East Bay and Sacramento settled for a 13-13 tie after a pair of overtimes. Despite cries from the fans to keep the game going, the decision was made to end it in a tie. Really, it wasn’t worth the risk to keep the game going and risk further injuries. It was a good display from both teams — especially on defense where both sides dominated — and despite the tie, both teams should feel pretty satisfied. The highlight of the game clearly was the 57-yard field goal kicked by Foothill’s James Langford with 56 seconds remaining to tie the game at 6-6 and force overtime. That was easily one of the most amazing things I’ve seen on a high school football field. It topped Langford’s previous career-high in a game of 48 yards (his best in practice is 63). Anyways, here’s the story I wrote for the paper.

By Jimmy Durkin
Oakland Tribune

Neither side earned bragging rights as the first showdown between East Bay and Sacramento all-stars ended in a 13-13 double-overtime tie Saturday at the Holiday Classic All-Star Football Game at Sacramento’s Grant High.

Foothill’s James Langford booted a game-tying 57-yard field goal for the East Bay with 56 seconds remaining and the game was called after both sides matched touchdowns in the second overtime.

“Enough is enough,” East Bay head coach Alonzo Carter of Berkeley said of ending the game that was a defensive struggle most of the way.

Langford, whose previous career long field goal in a game was 48 yards, had plenty of length to spare on his 57-yard boot that he knew was good as soon as it left his foot.

“I knew right away,” Langford said. “I felt that pop and I knew it was good.”

An impressive collection of talent made it tough for the offensive stars on either side to find running room.

“There were too many athletes out there to break out,” said De La Salle’s Terron Ward, the Bay Area News Group East Bay Player of the Year who was limited to one yard on six carries. “But this week was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of new people.”

Langford’s tying field goal became necessary when Sacramento scored its first points with just over 4 minutes left to play on a 1-yard touchdown run by Devontae Butler (Grant). A missed PAT kept it 6-3.

In the college-style overtime (in which the teams took possession at the 25), De La Salle’s Tyler Anderson recorded an interception for the East Bay on Sacramento’s opening possession.

Langford, who in the second quarter opened the scoring with a 27-yard field goal, missed a 37-yarder that led to a second overtime.

East Bay had the ball to start the second OT and Jonathan Willis (James Logan) scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper for a 13-6 lead.

Sacramento responded with a 1-yard touchdown run by James Nunley (Woodcreek). Despite cries for the crowd to go for the two-point conversion, Sacramento kicked the PAT to tie the game and the decision was made to end in a deadlock.

Berkeley’s Rickey Galvin led the East Bay with 39 yards on 13 carries and El Cerrito’s Andre Williams had a strong game with four catches for 87 yards.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Jet4Ever52

    did anyone get this on tape? I wanna see it

  • Jimmy Durkin

    The game was sponsored by Sacramento’s News10, so keep an eye on their site and they may have video on it.


  • Jet4Ever52

    never mind i found some on youtube. my boy Duckett! doin his thing on defense

  • Jet4Ever52

    Thanks Jimmy ill keep an eye on it. Someone on youtube recorded some highlights

  • Prep Fan

    DO WORK SOUNDS LIKE A BALLERHOLIC DAY. GO ERBODY. we do worrk in east bay carter!!!1

  • OQ

    I WOULD agree with you on that one, my friend, that was a hell of a game.

  • ManO’War

    Hey Jimmy/Jet, also found this on that one highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJv6vmvIDzs
    Was great game, you are right. Definitely should be great next year again. Would like to hear if any players get extra looks from colleges based on it.

  • This was a fun game. It really got serious a lot of trash talking in stands it was great. Good job too the coahes. Nobody got dogged for playing time they had a rotation & stuck to thrugh it all so that made it really good for the players cause they got their opportunities & it was up to them to make plays.

    Abraham Amiri #26 3 Special Teams tackles 4 defensive tackles & a sack. Wake up WAC or Mountain West he’s got a 3.3 overall GPA. He missed the first 4 games of the season & still won our points for defensive players of the year. We already sent film.

    San Jose St. wake-up call learn how to recruit your area. You don’t need to leave the Bay Area all the athletes you need were on the East BAy All-star team.

  • yv_warrior

    how was the eastbay fan support,was a large enough crowd supporting the east bay squad?? cause i heard someone say that if the east bay team had a lare crowd at the game ,that they might think of bringing next year’s game to the east bay.

  • ManDown

    The All Star game was a classic. Good game for both teams and the coaching was awesome as well. Many great players on one field showcasing there talent. Hope we can keep this game going for many years to come. If there is a game next year would it be in the East bay?

  • ManDown

    I agree with you Coach T. Amiri is a good player. In the playoff game against Fortuna the guy was making plays all over the field on Offense and D. Its good to know the young man has good grades also. Hope he get picked up by someone.

  • Prep Fan

    I was surprised by the run defense for both squads, especially Sac. They held Ward to just 1 yard on 6 carries, and the entire East Bay team to just 41 yards on 37 carries? Wow! Too bad Nottingham or Mannion weren’t there to help open up the passing game. The East Bay defense held Sac to just 85 yards on 37 carries, which would ordinarily look fantastic, but that is twice what Sac gave up onthe sae amount of carries. Sounds like it was a great defensive battle. I hope there was enough fan support from the East Bay to hold next year’s game out this way.

  • Man”oWar

    Seemed like big crowd on East Bay side. Both offenses had problems, but game was incredible, and great opportunity to stack up “like versus like” to see who could stand out. It is touted as a recruits-look kind of game, so hopefully those players who looked so good can get exposure to move to next level. It was obvious the players had great time, everybody was milling around after the game on the field shaking hands, smiling, hugging – great idea to have the players like this play on same team, get to know others, and get a good look from next-level coaches. Coaches there had tough choices but did well. My suggestion for any improvement would be to slack a little on penalties that come from new players, systems, etc., (iilegal sub calls, didn’t make it to sideline in time before snap, etc.), BUT that’s what they may face anyway in college play so maybe OK?

  • Jimmy Durkin

    I think the East Bay certainly brought a large enough crowd to warrant consideration of moving the game down this way next year. The organizers said they would consider it if there was a large enough contingent, so we’ll see what happens.

  • Coach T, hell yeah, Amiri is a beast, the most active lb in the game. Definately has the skill level to be successful at the next level, and these bay area colleges better wake up , WSU came down and scooped up 4-5 outstanding players!

  • Ike

    how come last years game was north vs south but this year sac vs. east bay? is east bay and sac going to be the game every year or are they going to change it?

  • Roll’em Up

    WSU came down and reopened that pipe line….and maybe a couple more?

  • billjohnson

    where is the wsu-cal game next year at? go cougars! can’t wait tedford some bay area hitters goin huntin for bears!

  • ManDown

    WSU did come out here and grab some good talent for the roster. Cal and San Jose State are dumb. Letting all these bay area kids leave for other programs.

  • billjohnson

    san jose st. is a joke they should have every bay stud that cant get out they need to step it up! plus they need to change those uni’s they look like sh1t!

  • Prep Fan

    Who are the 4 or 5 outstanding players that WSU scooped up?

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Damante Horton, Tyrone Duckett, Robert Jiles, Tracy Clark and Rickey Galvin are all committed to WSU.

  • Creme de la creme

    Also other Norcal players Asante Cleveland TE Christian Brothers H.S. and Deone Bucannon S Vanden H.S. Hoping for 2/3 more to join the rest.

  • Prep Fan

    OK, I knew those. I was thinking WSU came in and picked up 4-5 more based on what they saw at the game. WSU certainly got some good athletes from this area. The people I’ve known who went to Pullman have loved it up there.

  • SLpirate24

    i heard wsu got the LB from clayton valley, he is a very good player, good size

  • SLpirate24

    i thought the d was great as always wit carter, but who ever coached the offense did not make a good decision, should have kept it simple, u had the top backs in the area in ward galvin calhoun woods murphy from tech and u went wit the zone read wow not very smart played right in the hands of sac def. and patrone woods didnt touch the ball once, carter as much as people talked bout ur b high offense at least ran the ball well through the season, this would have been a great time to b one dimisional

  • norcalfball

    zone read? were you at the game? the offense ran maybe 4 or 5 run plays out of shotgun all game…they spent the whole game under center running leads and powers mixed with a few tosses…

    defense was very good, but other than the star RB’s most of the overall talent was on defense. the top WR’s didn’t play in the game and a few of the OL….plus got to remember with a weeks practice the defense should always dominate an offense…defense can be played on reaction and ability, while offense must execute with a whole team of brand new players with different abilities, size, speed, route running, blocking, etc…in fact i think the zone read would have been more successful as zone is easy to teach the lineman and just relies on RB’s making reads which would have been easier with the talent there.

  • norcalfball

    in fact name one player on the offense getting legit d1 looks other than galvin…

    the defense had nearly a dozen or so.

    the entire DL and secondary and a few LB’s…heck i think hightower was the most impressive DB in that game he played lights out when he was matched with that tall Sac WR. i think he was one of the more impressive players in the game along with the entire DL…

  • casey clow

    Regarding D 1 prospects, keep your eye on Cormac Craigie. Offers from Colgate, Brown, Sac State, Montana State with interest from Northwestern and Nebraska. Legit 4.5 speed (Oakland Nike Combine). Check out his QB skills on youtube.

  • yv_warrior

    i dont get how the eastbay team didnt feed the ball to patrone wood.he probly would have made something happened..but other then that i saw the game on the ygnaciovalleytv.com website.and from my point of view looks like the eastbay team dominated a little bit more…but both teams played great both deffenses were beastly..looking forward to next year’s game hopefully it can be moved down to the eastbay next year.dvc would be a good place to host this game.

  • SloppyField

    “El Cerrito’s Andre Williams had a strong game with four catches for 87 yards.”

    This kid is sick. He played 3 positions. Where is he going to school next year??

  • matty

    the top WR’s didn’t play in the game and a few of the OL….

    Actually, I think we got everybody we wanted in those positions.

    The game was fun. It will stay East Bay vs. Sac.

    The game will be posted up on http://www.wannaplaycollegesports.com in about 10 days. I will let eveyone know when it is posted.

  • yv_warrior

    the game is posted at ygnaciovalleytv.com…if u wanna see the whole game quarter by quarter..patrone wood’s dad runs that website.

  • jetsfan

    we were very impressed with everything about the game….the organization, team selection, giving all players time on the field, and the talent…
    wow…….great talented players on both sides of the field. we especially loved the overtime East Bay touchdown play call going over big #77 into the endzone…sweet! and that was after the record setting field goal that is still being talked about!!

  • brandon beard

    Very good defensive game!

  • Matty

    Here is an update on this years Holiday Classic. The game will stay in Sac one more time before heading to the East Bay. Grant has been the school for all 4 Holiday Classics and with the new format (Sac vs. East bay) we think it is smart to have it here one more year to keep building that momentum! The game is Sunday Dec.26th (we love this date-people will be ready for football again after the holiday)

    So, we would like to start getting nominations. We need…
    G/T =8


    *We will take every nomination seriously. Also, each head coach will be able to nominate their deserving players.