MISSOULA, Mont. - Saturday night in Laurel one final high school all-star game took place with the 68th annual Montana East-West Shrine Game being played. In the end the West all-stars were victorious 34-10.
The East all-stars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but it was the only time they lead the entire game. Shortly after the West all-stars scored the first touchdown of the game. Butte's Dallas Cook hit Troy Arnston over the middle in what resulted in a 76-yard touchdown to give the West a 7-3 lead.
The West all-stars scored a second time in the first quarter after Jared Trinastich of Columbia Falls found Sean Foley of Whitefish in the endzone to give the West a 13-3 lead. The East all-stars were never able to catch back up and found themselves down 20-3 at the half before eventually falling to the West 34-10.
"We gave up the early field goal but then we rose to the occasion," said West head coach Rick Nordahl. "We kind of settled in and took care of our own responsibilities and that was the key to the game."
"It's a huge win over what we thought was a going to be a stacked team," said Cook. "They played hard and we just happened to come out on top as a team."
The Montana Shrine Game is the premier all-star game in Montana, and it is one of the oldest high school all-star football games in the United States.
"Our kids played really hard and it's for a great cause," said East head coach Troy Purcell. "Just really proud to get to know all of them and be with our Bozeman Hawk kids one more time."
The players competing in the Shrine Game were nominated by their schools and coaches across the state as the best of the best.
The East-West shrine game has a long history of talented athletes, many of whom have gone on to play collegiate and even professional football.
"It's awesome to kind of go into college with a win," said West defensive end Kole Swartz, who will play for the University of Montana this fall. "With Hellgate I haven't been so successful, so then to be able to come in to fall camp with a win under my belt is a great feeling."
The Montana game has become one of the top Shrine Games in the nation for hospital donations. The 2013 Montana Shrine Game raised $146,000, the top donation in the United States to date.