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January 5, 2013

After slow start, Johnson leads way


MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

SAN ANTONIO -- James Quick picked Louisville over Ohio State and then he picked the winning touchdown out of the air, a thrilling finish to what was a defensive-oriented U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Quick, a four-star receiver from Louisville (Ky.) Trinity, caught a 34-yard pass from Auburn commitment Jeremy Johnson with 3:59 left and Alabama commit Derrick Henry's two-point conversion helped the East secure a 15-8 East victory in front of a record 40,133 Saturday at the Alamodome.

"The coach called a great play at the end," Johnson said. "He trusted me and wanted me to make the play. That's what I did. I've been in that situation many times and we came through.

"That was my read. We knew they were going to give us cover zero. I took a shot with James because he's a great receiver and I got it to him. It was my drive to come in. They wanted me to lead the way and that's what I did."

Henry, who finished with a game-high 53 yards on 10 attempts, scored the East's other touchdown late in the first quarter to make it 7-0.

Loaded with running backs, the East also had five-star Derrick Green rush for 49 yards on eight attempts and he had the game's longest run -- a 23-yard gain.

The East stymied the West offense throughout the game, sacking USC five-star quarterback commit Max Browne multiple times, using exceptional cornerback play to stall receivers and shutting out the West for nearly the entire game.

The West answered when it needed to, though, as Browne lofted a beautiful 16-yard pass into the end zone and Texas A&M commit Derrick Griffin came down with it midway through the final quarter.

Browne found LSU tight end commit DeSean Smith on the two-point conversion and the West took an 8-7 advantage.

But the East did not relent or rush. Four-star Virginia commit Taquan Mizzell took the kickoff six yards deep in the end zone and returned it to the West 28.

That seemed to give the East team more than a prayer and soon after, Johnson chucked the ball to the end zone and Quick, who had three catches for a game-high 71 yards, came down with the winning touchdown.

"It was really exciting," Quick said. "I saw the ball and went to go get it. I knew it was a clutch time to do it, so just getting that opportunity to do it was great."

No question it was a defensive struggle. Johnson threw for a game-high 64 yards. Browne, sacked three times, had 52 passing yards to lead the West.

The leading rusher for the West was five-star Oregon pledge Thomas Tyner with 14 yards on four carries. Neither team scored in the second or third quarters.

Uncommitted four-star safety Tahaan Goodman, soft UCLA pledge Myles Jack and Indiana commit Antonio Allen each had five tackles for the West, tied for the game-high.

Georgia pledges Tray Matthews and Johnny O'Neal led the East with four tackles apiece.

East linebacker Jaylon Smith registered four tackles and made numerous defensive plays, especially in the third quarter. Smith had a tackle for loss and blocked a field goal in that quarter.

West defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes consistently broke through the offensive line, was difficult to block all game and showed impressive relentlessness.

Texas commit Antwuan Davis blocked a field goal early in the game and was involved in Smith's block in the third as well.



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