Baldwin’s DeAndre Thomas could not have asked for a better ending to the Great Divide Game, a high school all-star football game played Saturday at the Ed Defore Sports Complex.
The quarterback rallied his team from a 12-point deficit in the closing minutes to lead his East team to a 15-12 win over the West.
Thomas hit Dublin’s Cedric O’Neal with a 46-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds to give his team the win.
“It took a little while for the offense to get clicking, but we always had faith that we were going to win the game,” said Thomas, who is undecided as to where he will play college football. “We all had a great week, and finding a way to win this game makes it extra special. I asked the offensive line to just give me a little more time, and I thought we could make something happy. Me and Cedric have been getting along real good all week and wanted to do something big in this game.
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“I am just glad it worked out. I just want the chance to get into college and find a way to compete for playing time as a freshman.”
O’Neal said the touchdown was a great way to end his high school career.
“Our coaches called a great play, and I saw that the defense was playing for a 10-yard out, so I was able to turn it up field and get behind the defensive back,” he said. “Then all I had to do was catch it because the pass was right there. Being a part of a game-winning pass in my last game was a great thrill. I wanted to go out here and show what I am capable of doing, and if something comes up to where I can keep playing football, that would be great.
“We knew it would be a good football game, and even though it was basically for fun, we still wanted to come out and win. It was really just a great week.”
Thomas was named the offensive player of the game, while Johntre Gunn from Westside was the defensive player of the game.
“I had thought about winning the award, but there were so many great players out here, I figured I probably wouldn’t,” Gunn said. “It was a hard-hitting game from the start, and I am honored that I was selected to play in the game. To win this award, just makes it more special. We hated to lose the game like that, but it was still a great afternoon.”