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HONOLULU - The Mainland All-Stars scored 19 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Hawaii All-Stars 26-6 in the second annual Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl at Aloha Stadium Saturday night.
The Mainland All-Stars out-gained their opponent 451 to 163 yards, but led by just eight early in the fourth quarter.
Then, Baton Rouge (La.) Redemptorist receiver and game MVP Deuce Coon caught his third touchdown pass of the night, and five-star running back Lache Seastrunk sealed the deal with an electric 60 yard touchdown run late in the fourth.
"I had great blocking on that one," Seastrunk said. "It took awhile to get use to the game, we only practiced two days. So it was kind of hard. But I could see that play develop. I saw my other back go up, and the wide receivers blocking, and it was just wide open.
"The game was awesome. It was the greatest experience I have ever had in my life. A once in a lifetime experience to come out here and play with different people. I enjoyed the experience and it gave me a lot to work on."
Seastrunk finished the game with 142 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Coon caught touchdown passes (15,30,12) from each of Mainland's three quarterbacks.
"It felt really good," Coon said. "It was a shock, I didn't know I was going to be able to do that much with the ball, but they threw it to me and they depended on me and I made plays."
Coon came into the game with an offer from Miami of Ohio. He caught six passes for 80 yards.
"I think this is really going to help me," Coon said. "When my coach first notified me that I was going to play in the Aloha Prep Bowl, I was so excited, I went home, ran in the door, told my dad. It was amazing, I love it out here."
Derby starts out strong at QB, finishes on 'D'
Iowa commit A.J. Derby is projected as an athlete by Rivals.com. Saturday night was a good look at what he can do as a quarterback.
The 6-foot-4 prospect completed eight of his first nine passes, and led the Mainland squad with 159 yards passing.
"I felt like the receivers were running good routes," Derby said. "The offensive line was there, and the coaches were calling good plays and I was able to get into a rhythm a little bit."
Derby entered the game in the fourth at defensive end and recorded a sack.
"That was just for fun," Derby said. "It was a chance to show some athletic ability. You come out to Hawaii once, to play football, and I tried to make the best of it."
Ambles impresses everyone
Tennessee commit Markeith Ambles had a Mainland high 86 yards receiving on five catches. Though Ambles did not get into the end zone, he dazzled with his smooth athleticism and great body control grabbing the ball.
"I had a really good time, it was a lot of fun," Ambles said. "I caught a few balls, it was really fun out here. We had a good rhythm going with the quarterbacks, I just tried to tell them what I was going to do and they threw some good balls.
Murphy and Sacco make Don Bosco proud
The Hawaii All-Stars got the memo. Philadelphia (Pa.) defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is an absolute beast. He fought double and triple teams all night, and still recorded a sack. Most importantly, he cleared the way for his fellow defensive line mates.
Florida commit Lynden Trail recorded two sacks and forced two fumbles. Don Bosco (N.J.) teammates and Pitt commits Bryan Murphy and Brandon Sacco recorded two sacks a piece as well.
"We just did what we were taught to do," Murphy said. "Stay outside, play contain and use the speed rush. We got some mismatches, we did our job, and it worked."
Sacco said he loved the chance to play football in Hawaii.
"It was really cold the last game we played in New Jersey, so it was a big difference adjusting to the heat," Sacco said. "It was good playing with Bryan, we were able to control the game a lot."
High praise for Hawaii team
Several players on the Hawaii/Polynesia team had good performances.
Pac-Five receiver London Amorin caught two passes for 100 yards, including a 92 yarder on the game's first play from scrimmage. He added a 39 yard kick return.
Castle High School receiver Shaydon Kehano caught two passes for 28 yards, but added 112 return yards, including a 48 yard kick return and 59 yard punt return.
Kahuku kicker Cameron Mercado pumped up the crowd by kicking 55 yard field goals during pre-game. He made both field goals attempts during the game (25.27).
Maui (Hawaii) safety Elika Laloulu recorded two interceptions. Minnesota commit James Manuel grabbed a pair of interceptions for the Mainland All-Stars.
"I thought the Hawaii team did a great job," Mainland Head Coach Lance Scheib said. "In general I thought they were much better than what I thought going into the game. I have much more respect and much more appreciation of what Hawaii High School football is all about after watching both games tonight. I always hear so much about how physical the Hawaiians are, and they did not do anything to make me not belive that. That first kickoff, I am not sure who it was (Samson Faifili), but I have not seen a hit like that in a long time."
"They have some hard hitters," quarterback A.J. Derby said. "And they got us off-balance a little bit, but we fought back. We have a lot of good athletes on our team and we were able to make some big plays."
Coach Scheib breaks down the best of the best
I asked Coach Scheib to name a few players that stuck out during the week.
"Sharrif Floyd is one of the best I have ever seen, and he is an even better person than he is a player," Scheib said. "I thought he was great. I thought Lache [Seastrunk] was incredible. His speed and athleticism is special. Markeith [Ambles] was great as a receiver, even though Deuce [Coon] had the plays today. The kid going to Ohio State, David Durham is special, he tweaked his back a bit during the game, but in general, those kids were special."