Joseph McGowan made five diving catches, while snagging the game-winning two-point conversion while falling out of the end zone, as the Red All-Stars rallied for a 22-21 win over the Blue All-Stars on Saturday in the 10th Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl in Tyler.
McGowan, the Rusk star who has signed with Texas Southern, was voted Offensive MVP of the game with seven catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns, the latter with 1:02 left in the game, which was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A and played on Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Red teammate Jahadé Adams, of Chapel Hill, was the Defensive MVP with two interceptions.
The Heart of a Champion Awards were given to the Blue’s Jack Janis of Tyler Legacy and the Red’s Cooper Callaway of Bullard.
On the Red roster for Kilgore were Donovan Adkins, a defensive back/receiver/return specialist for KHS, running back Tray Epps, defensive end Kaden Kenney, and quarterback Dalton McElyea. Also on the Red roster was offensive/ defensive lineman Tucker Rogers from Overton High.
The Blue all-stars had Kilgore offensive lineman Cayden Croley and Sabine linebacker Ty Francisco.
Cameron Ford, Chapel Hill’s quarterback, led the Red on the winning drive, converting two fourth-down conversions with passes of nine yards to Airik Williams of Lindale and 30 yards to McCowan. Ford hit on 12 of 18 passing attempts for 173 yards. He also scored on a 12-yard run.
The winning TD was a 17-yard toss to a diving McGowan in the middle of the end zone. Then Ford threw to McGowan on the right side, who grabbed the pass, made sure both feet were in and fell backwards.
McCowan also had a 13-yard TD. He had one catch for one yard in the first half. Lindale’s Airik Williams made the interception that sealed the win.
Canton’s Christopher Cade led the Red rushing with 76 yards on 10 attempts. Blake Lin of All Saints kicked both of his PAT attempts. Longview’s Markevion Haynes rushed for 92 yards and two TDs (5, 30) on 14 carries while Pine Tree’s Tyler Sheffield rushed for 51 yards and a TD (5 yards) on 12 attempts. Dom Allen of Winnsboro booted three PATs.
As it did with the soccer, baseball and softball games on Friday, the weather played havoc with the game. Rain poured during pregame and the kickoff was only five minutes behind schedule, but after the first quarter lightning delayed the game for more than an hour.
Before the game, Jeff W. Johnston, the owner and operator of the Chick-fil-A Broadway Crossing store in Tyler was a part of a game like this 50 years ago. On Saturday, he was an honorary captain during the coin flip.
“It’s all about giving back. I am so honored to be part of this community with FCA, the volunteers and students,” Johnston said. “It’s an opportunity Chick-fil-A is proud to be part of.”
Robert Bardin, the Area Director of the Northeast Texas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was also on the field as the game kicked off.
Bardin looked around at the team of volunteers assisting fans, players and coaches and gave them praise.
“The volunteers make this happen, all the people who partner with FCA, like Chick-fil-A, it wouldn’t be a game without them,” Bardin said.
The boys and girls soccer games, sponsored by Landmark Title, was held Friday on the Grace Community campus. The boys soccer game was played at Clyde-Perkins Stadium, while the girls match was moved inside the GCS Gym after lightning delays.
The softball and baseball games were played at Whitehouse High School.
The softball game was sponsored by Sonrise Prayer Fellowship. The baseball game was sponsored by First Baptist Church Tyler.
Kilgore’s Eugene Lafitte and Joey Pippen were to coach the Red all-stars in the baseball game, along with Central Heights coach Travis Jackson. Lafitte was unable to coach in the game, due to a family illness.
Kilgore’s Adkins, McElyea, Cade Pippen, and Kyle Wheeler were on the Red all-star roster.
Kilgore’s Richie Avalos and Sabine’s Eduardo Jaimes were on the Blue all-star roster for the soccer game. Kilgore’s Izaiah Ramirez was on the Red all-star roster.
Sabine’s Makenzie Cook was on the Blue all-star roster for the softball all-star game.