Oil Bowl provides thrilling finish for second straight year

Zach Duncan
Times Record News
Published  June 10, 2017

East’s Brandon Reeves scrambles in the all-star game against the West Saturday, June 10, 2017, in the 80th edition of the Oil Bowl at Memorial Stadium. The East won in overtime over the West 20-14.

With Stephen Gaines and Payton McAlister slicing through holes, it became obvious as the 80th Oil Bowl wore on Saturday night that the East had more explosive playmakers.

But if you’ve witnessed enough of these high school all-star games through the years, you know the drill by now.

Scoring is scarce and a little mistake that turns into a touchdown can make all the difference. As the West clung to a seven-point lead in the waning minutes at Memorial Stadium, Xavier Waggoner’s second-quarter fumble return for a touchdown still loomed large.

When winning looked at its bleakest, the East’s playmakers made the biggest plays. There was Krum’s Brandon Reeves finding a wide-open Marcus Carter for a game-tying 67-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 remaining.

And then after the East’s defense forced a stop in overtime, it was Gaines and McAlister getting the home team close and Reeves finishing it off with a 3-yard touchdown for a 20-14 victory.

“Those skill guys with Stephen Gaines, Colson Stovall and McAlister – they’re all special and they made us go,” West coach Dylan Stark (Bowie) said. “Reeves made a lot of plays tonight with his legs and finished it off.

“You’ve got to be proud of these kids, only knowing each other for four days. They really came together.”

Anybody supporting Iowa Park’s three West players at Memorial Stadium understandably felt a case of déjà vu. They watched Reeves rush for seven touchdowns against the Hawks in an October district game that went three overtimes and ended with him scoring the game-winning points on a QB keeper.

“It was a blast. A lot like I expected,” said Reeves, who’s going to Hardin-Simmons. “A lot of athletes running real fast. I really liked hanging out with the guys all week and it was a really cool experience.”