If the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game serves as a launching board for high school football prospects falling between the cracks, several players took advantage of that opportunity Friday night.
Even though on opposite ends of the size spectrum, Austin (Texas) Del Valle's Josh Cleveland and Pensacola High's Bobby Evans stood out for the respective teams Friday night at PHS's Jim Scoggins Stadium.
Evans, a 6-5, 360-pound defensive tackle, was a man among boys in the trenches, proving to be virtually unblockable all night.
But it was Cleveland, a 5-7, 165-pound tailback, who stole the show. The diminutive speedster broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, then had a 55-yard run a few plays later to set up another touchdown to lead the West to a 14-10 win over the East squad.
Cleveland, who rushed for 1,408 and 20 TDs this past season, is currently only receiving looks from junior colleges, but hopes Friday night's game helps turn some heads.
"I think I proved myself one more time," Cleveland said. "I just came out and did what I can do. I wanted to show I was consistent and I can play at the next level.
"It's never enough, you just have to keep working. I have a lot of work left to do."
Evans is in the same boat as Cleveland.
The big guy hasn't heard a whole lot of recruiting buzz, but Friday night's game should help.
"I had a good game and I had a good time playing with these boys," Evans said. "It's a good experience when you can come out and play with other people from other states. I thought I had a great game, I felt great out there."
Cleveland and Parkview Baptist (La.) fullback Hezekiah Randolph accounted for the two TDs on the West side.
Evangel kicker Joshua Davis booted a 20-yard field goal and PHS' Blake Norwood recovered a fumble in the end zone for the East scoring.
"I enjoyed it, I especially enjoyed playing under these lights again," Norwood said. "I never thought I'd get a chance to play here again, so it was nice.
"It was a fun week. I had a great time, met some great people and got a chance to play again."