The Missouri 8-Man All-Star Game returned to St. Joseph and Missouri Western State University for the first time in three years.
Offensive MVP Aydan Gladstone led the Green team to a 34-26 win over the Silver team after falling behind 20-8 in the first half.
“It felt amazing, and one thing I will say is that I was not in shape for this,” Gladstone said.
The Silver team took the ball first Saturday night and moved the ball with decent success before losing Alex Rinehart to injury. The former Worth County running back had worked his way back after tearing his ACL in the state semifinals.
The Green team needed just one play on offense to score their first touchdown. Gladstone connected with teammate Jackson Runde on a 68-yard touchdown pass.
“Before the game we were talking and they said if he’s open, just throw it up, and so that’s what I did,” Gladstone said.
Aside from the flea flicker touchdown, the two offenses struggled early in the game. After Runde’s touchdown, the two teams combined for four-straight punts.
The Silver team needed an 11-play drive early in the second quarter to get their first score of the game. Rich Hill quarterback Peyton McFrederick connected with LeBlond’s Julio Gann for an 8-yard touchdown.
“I suffered through some adversity in practice because I wasn’t doing my best,” Gann said. “So to put it all out there during the game and to do great was just awesome for me.”
The Silver team kept the momentum on their side after the Gann touchdown. The Silver defense forced a turnover on the Green team’s next drive, recovering a fumble on Green’s 36-yard line.
McFrederick then connected with Santa Fe’s Owen Hostetter on the very next play for a 36-yard touchdown. The former Rich Hill quarterback threw three touchdown passes in the first half with his third coming with 2:12 left in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass to Gann.
“I had a lot of fun with the energy in this game and getting to play one last time with the best of the best in 8-man,” Gann said.
The Green team used the final two minutes of the half to swing the momentum back in their direction. Gladstone connected with King City’s Parker Muff for a 35-yard gain that set up a Gladstone touchdown run with 49 seconds left in the half.
“Playing with these guys one last time was awesome,” Muff said. “We get to see different schemes from different coaches and it’s just a pleasure to be here with the guys and coaches.”
The Green team outscored the Silver team 28-6 over the final 26 minutes of Saturday’s game. Platte Valley’s Hayden Ferry was named the game’s Defensive MVP after recording double-digit tackles Saturday night.
“It felt great with everyone cheering at the end,” Ferry said. “It was different experience to get to play with all stars and people I’ve never gotten to play with.”
Multiple teams saw teammates pitted against each other in Saturday’s game. Muff said there was no shortage of trash talk, even with his teammate from King City.
“There was a lot of trash talking because everybody trash talks when they’re good,” Muff said. “There was a lot of that, it was high intensity and there wasn’t much give from either side. Both teams were really really good, so to come out with a win was nice.”