Big-play East Team downs West in SETCA All-Star Game

Published 9:19 am Monday, June 18, 2018

WINNIE — If Kevon Latulas set a record with his 98-yard touchdown catch, the Nederland graduate will have a most valuable player award to show for his efforts.

Latulas hauled in two scoring passes and won the Christus All-Star Classic’s East team MVP award Saturday in a 20-6 win over the West at East Chambers High School.

Latulas handled one last high school football victory to Monte Barrow and the Nederland coaching staff, which led the East this week, before heading off to Kilgore College.

Vidor linebacker Joey Ciccio earned the East defensive MVP award and West Brook quarterback Marcus Johnson was named the team’s offensive MVP. East Chambers quarterback Kaevon Harmon, who played in Friday’s All-Star basketball game at his alma mater, won the West team MVP award, with Livingston’s Kane Placker and Barbers Hill’s Cullen Kirkland earning top defensive and offensive honors.

Chris Winters of Little Cypress-Mauriceville turned in a 75-yard rushing touchdown for the East early in the fourth quarter. Coaches told the Tyler Junior College signee it was only a matter of time before he would make a big play.

“We were going over the inside plays. That’s where they knew I made my bread-and-butter during the regular season at Little Cypress,” Winters said. “[One coach] told me straight-up we were going to stick to the script.”

Latulas’ long haul came from West Orange-Stark’s Chaka Watson with 27 seconds left before halftime. He spun to his right off Devonta Shelton of Goose Creek Memorial and saw nothing but green space afterward.

It was not immediately known if the pass play set a Classic record. This was the ninth All-Star football game organized by the Southeast Texas Coaches Association.

Latulas’ second TD was an over-shoulder haul from Johnson from 15 yards out late in the third quarter.

The West, which had taken a first-quarter lead on Harmon’s TD pass to Kirkland, saw two scoring opportunities end in turnovers. Ciccio recovered a fumble and returned it 40 yards in the third quarter, and Nederland’s Taelor Wolf — who had suffered a collarbone injury early in the 2017 season — picked off a pass with 6:40 left in the game.

Bralin Simon of West Brook added to his own highlight reel with a 40-yard catch over the shoulders of his defender in man-to-man coverage on the game’s final possession.

Nederland’s Steven Hendrix and Colton Beeson also saw plenty of action for the East, as did Port Neches-Groves’ Preston Hughes, Andrew Hebert and Layne Mobley.

Four seniors-to-be from Santa Fe were recognized at Saturday’s game and helped present awards to the SETCA athletes of the year. Quarterback Nathan Krueger, wide receiver Austin Lamb, defensive tackle Michael McVay and offensive lineman Hunter Farris each received a T-shirt and a commemorative ring from SETCA.

Santa Fe High School was under attack on May 18 when a 17-year-old student allegedly shot 10 people to death (eight students and two teachers) and wounded 13 others.