SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The East used 132 big rushing yards and a late touchdown pass from Auburn pledge Jeremy Johnson to new Louisville commit James Quick to secure a 15-8 victory and give the East a 7-6 edge in the history of the US Army All-American Bowl.
The West team had a chance to tie the game late, but a pass from LSU commit Hayden Rettig intended for Texas A&M pledge Ricky Seals-Jones fell harmlessly in the end zone.
An opportunity for the West went to waste seconds before on a reverse pass handled by another future Tiger, John Diarse. It was a play the West had worked on in practice, successfully, but on this occasion Diarse couldn't get the ball out to a streaking Jake Oliver and by the time that he did, the pass was inaccurate and the East defensive backs had recovered to blanket Oliver.
Three slow quarters of action gave way to two touchdowns in less than three minutes of game time halfway through the 4th quarter.
Texas A&M commit Derrick Griffin caught a perfectly-thrown ball from Max Browne that allowed him to use his height advantage over USC commit Jalen Ramsey. It was the first and only time that the West quarterbacks were able to put a pass where only a tall West wide receiver could catch it.
Then the East responded with Johnson's 34-yard touchdown pass to Quick when Johnson rolled right and threw the ball towards the endzone under pressure. It hung in the air for what seemed like several seconds before it found Quick just as several defensive backs closed in on him.
The West was able to hang in the game by getting two big defensive stops that forced East field goal attempts, but both were blocked, the first one by a combination of Texas commits, A'Shawn Robinson and Antwuan Davis, and the second by Notre Dame pledge Jaylon Smith, who was dominant on the day from his linebacker position.
But in the end, the running attack of the East was too much for the West to handle, as Derrick Henry ran for 53 yards on 11 carries, a touchdown, and an important 2-point conversion following the Johnson-to-Quick connection. Derrick Green added another 49 yards on 8 carries and worked some as a fullback, doing a strong job as a blocker in a role not commonly seen in postseason all-star games.
Johnson provided all the East needed through the air, completing 4 of the 8 passes that found the hands of East receivers on only 6 attempts.
Meanwhile, the West struggled mightily, especially along the offensive line, giving up several sacks and failing to create running lanes for the West backs, who had a long run of only 10 yards and gained only 37 yards on 11 carries. Browne was sacked three times and Texas commit Tyrone Swoopes fumbled on the second play he was in the game.
Overall, the West was outgained in total yardage by the East, 218-90.
The game was played in front of a record 40,133 spectators, the sixth-consecutive year of record turnouts.