SAN ANTONIO – If you don’t know the name Dante Mooreit’s time to get familiar.
Moore threw four touchdown passes on Saturday as the East rolled the West, 55-17, at the annual All-American Bowl, which brought together over 100 of the nation’s top high school seniors together for one final showcase inside the Alamo Dome. It was every bit of a surgical performance for the UCLA-bound signal caller as he completed 14 of his 19 pass attempts for 156 yards in roughly two quarters of play.
“It’s a true blessing,” Moore told 247Sports after he received the MVP trophy. “A lot of this came as a team effort, for sure. I mean the team was just stacked with wide receivers, o-linemen, running backs and a great defense, too. But me being a quarterback, I just wanted to get the ball to our playmakers and let them do their job, and really they did that …. It has been a long week of practice. Exhausting. But we put up the most points ever in the All-American Bowl. So, we did a great job today. It feels really great for me, but really it was a team effort.”
It didn’t take Moore long to let everyone in the stands –or those watching at home on NBC– to know that he’s got the goods as the nation’s No. 3-ranked quarterback per 247Sports opened the game up with three straight completions before connecting with LSU wide receiver signee Jalen Brown for a 12-yard score. Less than a minute later after an unexpected turnover by the West, the Detroit native hit the Ohio State wide receiver Brandon Inniss in the corner of the end zone for six more points.
The dimes didn’t stop there. Late in the second quarter after the East raced out to a 24-3 lead, Moore essentially put the game on ice when he fired a dart to Ohio State wide receiver signee Carnell Tate right over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown. Moore would then put an exclamation point on his outing early in the second half when he snuck a ball around the Clemson signee. Tommarrion Parker -who had broken containment on the edge- and right into the hands of the Alabama running back signee Justice Hayneswho strolled into the end zone from five yards out for Moore’s fourth touchdown pass of the day.
“That’s probably the best quarterback in our class,” Inniss said. “I’m not going to lie to you. I saw it in practice and me and Carnell having been talking about it ever since we saw him play [this past summer] in Las Vegas.”
Added Brown: “I feel like Dante is the best quarterback in the class. He reads the field well, he’s got a strong arm, he’s disciplined and he’s a great leader.”
While Moore was the one chirping on social media, he wasn’t the only East quarterback that impressed Saturday. Oregon State signee Aidan Chiles was elusive in the pocket and made a high-level touchdown pass of his own when he zipped a ball right over the heart of the West’s defense to Miami running back signee Mark Fletcherwho raced 81 yards down the field early in the second quarter for a score.
“This was just a great way to end it,” Fletcher said of the atmosphere and fan support in San Antonio. “It was a great experience. Now, I’m just ready for the next level.”
Haynes finished with a game-high 87 rushing yards on 10 carries. A good chunk of that yardage came in the third quarter when he broke at least six tackles on a run that went 46 yards.
The East also added to its lead in the fourth quarter with a pair of four-yard touchdown runs from Florida running back signee Treyawn Webb and Miami wide receiver signee Nathaniel Joseph.
Ohio State quarterback signee Lincoln Kienholz was responsible for the West’s two lone touchdowns. The first came with some razzle and dazzle as he ran across the field and away from a pair of defenders before firing a ball all the way to the goal line where LSU tight end signee Ka’Morreun Pimpton leaped up and came down with the pass for a 43-yard touchdown. Then with less than a minute left in the game Kienholz connected with TCU wide receiver signee Cordale Russell for a 38-yard score.
Kienholz finished the day 6-of-11 passing for 105 yards. He split reps with Oregon signee Austin Novosad and Louisville signee Pierce Clarkson.
Defensively, it was Blake Nicholson who paced the game with 7.5 tackles. Right behind the FSU linebacker signee was the LSU linebacker signee Whit Weekswho racked up 5.5 tackles of his own and also recovered a fumble.
“It was fun,” Week remarked as he walked into the locker room. “It was definitely harder than high school football because you got the best players in the country that you are competing against and the size and speed of everyone is just different. Like, all the offensive linemen were huge. But it was just a class operation all week. We had a great time.”
Alabama safety signee Caleb Downs picked off a Clarkson pass while Notre Dame signee Brennan Vernon snagged a screen pass from Novosad with one hand in the backfield for another takeaway. Those two turnovers only further helped tilt things in favor of the East.
Other defensive standouts in the box score included: Alabama defensive end signee Keon Keeley (2.5 tackles, a sack and a PBU), Utah defensive end signee Hunter Clegg (TFL and a blocked punt), Notre Dame linebacker signee Drake Bowen (5 tackles with 1.5 of those for a loss), Oklahoma cornerback signee Jasiah Wagoner (4 tackles and a PBU), Auburn cornerback signee Cain Lee (two tackles and a PBU), Oklahoma linebacker signee Samuel Omosigho (4.5 tackles) and the aforementioned Parker (sack and a forced fumble).
When it came to special teams, future Illinois kicker David Olano drilled a 50-yard attempt and also hit from 36 yards while Indiana signee Nicolas Radicic connected on a 25-yard field goal attempt. Texas A&M punter signee Tyler Whiteon the other hand, downed a ball at the 1-yard line like a seasoned vet.
Stay tuned to 247Sports for more coverage coming out of San Antonio.