SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Do you want a good football team? Go find a good quarterback. Do you want a successful All-American game? See the first answer.
The West beat the East 24-12 on Saturday in the Alamo Dome.
On Saturday in the Alamo Dome, the West squad cruised to an easy 24-12 win in the US Army All-American Bowl with the help of quarterback play out of Cyler Miles that ranged from sound to spectacular. Miles finished the game with 7 of 8 passing for 155 yards and one touchdown. He also added a touchdown on the ground.
It all started on his opening drive for the West. Miles engineered a methodical drive by All-Star game standards of 8 plays for 44 yards. He completed a short throw to Dorial Green-Beckham, executed a screen play to T.J. Yeldon to perfection and put together a pair of nice scrambles, the first of which went for a first down and the second for a touchdown.
You would think that Miles was a seasoned veteran playing against elite college talent, not a high school athlete almost two months removed from his last game.
“I felt really comfortable,” Miles said following the game. “I gave that to the week of practice. Coach did a great job of preparing us, installing the plays in there for us, the concepts, the personnel. The level of competition was probably a little bit higher but you get used to that.”
A Washington commit, Miles was the 247Sports MVP of the US Army Combine a full year ago on the same weekend. On Saturday, he completed the circle by being named MVP of the US Army All-American Bowl.
“That was my dream but I did not think it would end up like this,” he said with trophy in hand. “This is a great blessing I’m truly blessed to be here and I’m taking advantage of every minute. This is special.”
Early in the game, it looked as if there would be a true quarterback duel brewing. Five-star Gunner Kiel’s first drive under center matched Miles’ in regard to success and precision. Kiel took his East squad 77 yards on 11 plays to answer Miles’ rushing touchdown.
On the drive Kiel showed good command of the offense and of his passing and got some help with a nice catch and run by Mike Davis preceded by a big play from Stefon Diggs.
Miles won the MVP of the Army Bowl after earning 247Sports MVP honors a year earlier at the Combine.
That touchdown was one of only two on the day for the East team. The second came in the closing seconds of the game by an athletic scramble out of Pitt quarterback commit Chad Voytik.
Four other drives for the East ended in turnovers. Kiel was intercepted by UCLA commit Ishmael Adams on one shot deep and also had a fumble caused by Texas commit Hassan Ridgeway that was recovered by Top247 member Javonte Magee.
The West took a 24-6 lead into halftime, setting a record for the most points scored in a half by the West, and the most scored by either team since the East’s 28 first half points in 2004.
The West had more records to break though. Miles’ one touchdown pass was a record-breaker as well. Coming out of a scramble, Miles threw a ball on the run to the No. 1 wide receiver in the country, Green-Beckham and watched him do the rest, hauling the ball in one-handed over Travis Blanks, and racing 79 yards for a touchdown.
The play was the longest touchdown pass in the game’s history, breaking the previous record of 78 yards from Chris Leak to Andre Caldwell in 2003.
Cyler Miles, QB (committed to Washington) – Miles showed exactly what you hope out of a player with his toolset. He put together an efficient day that saw him manage the game and still show flashes of phenomenal talent.
Shaq Thompson, S (committed to Cal) – It shouldn’t be this easy to see that a high school kid is NFL-bound. It’s just a matter of time for Shaq who was a scary force in the run game, leading the West with five solo tackles and two tackles for loss.
T.J. Yeldon, RB (committed to Alabama) – Yeldon was responsible for a couple of the most spectacular moments of the day on two different open-field hurdles over defenders. Yeldon is a big back with surprising athleticism and he finished with 3 catches for 39 yards and 5 rushes for 13 yards.
Jonathan Bullard, DE (committed to Florida) – In a game that had plenty of defensive line talent, Bullard may be able to claim the top performance. He had a sack and a pair of tackles for loss and looked to be unblockable at times showing both speed off the edge and the ability to overpower offensive tackles.
Adolphus Washington, DE (Committed to Ohio State) – Miles was sacked three different times on Saturday and Washington was directly involved in two of them. His athleticism and relentlessness of the edge makes him look like a future superstar in the Big Ten.
Trey Williams, RB (committed to Texas A&M) – Trey Williams’ day wasn’t perfect. He had a fumble and finished with only five yards on four carries. But he did have a 95 yard touchdown run that was called back due to penalty and it was hard not register that in the memory bank. He also busted a 38 yard kickoff return, showcasing his big play chops.
Ishmael Adams, CB (committed to UCLA) – Adams is one of the smallest defenders on either team – if not the smallest. He played big on Saturday though. Each time he was tested, he made plays and he capped things off with an interception on Gunner Kiel in the fourth quarter that he returned for 27 yards.
Kendall Sanders, CB (committed to Texas) – It’s almost a shame that Sanders is set on playing wide receiver at Texas because he is a tremendous cornerback. He had two interceptions on the day and just has a knack for being around the football. His second interception - on the sideline off of a deflection – was outstanding.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR (uncommitted) – On his 79-yard touchdown reception, Green-Beckham showed why he is the No. 1 wide receiver in the country showing great strength, speed and concentration, reeling the ball in with one hand. Green-Beckham also displayed his one weakness which is inconsistent hands. He dropped two easy passes, including one that would have been a touchdown.
Mike Davis, RB (uncommitted) – Davis’ numbers weren’t overwhelming. He rushed for 13 yards on six carries and had 31 receiving yards on two catches. But the manner in which Davis goes about his business is hard not to like. He is a north-south back that has a running style made for the NFL.
Josh Clemons, LB (uncommitted) – You don’t often see 6-5 linebackers but the reason is that there aren’t often players at that size that can move like Clemons. He showed great range in the game and even the fastest backs can’t seem to out-run his long arms. Clemons finished with three tackles and one tackle for a loss but he seemed like he was everywhere.
Kyle Murphy, OT (uncommitted) – There may not be a more athletic offensive lineman on either team than Murphy. He opened up a lot of nice holes including a block on Eli Harold to help Barry Sanders Jr. reach the end zone in the first half.