Edinburg North Stephen Flores of the West team with his teammates.

(Arlington, Texas)-Several Rio Grande Valley football players were selected to play in the annual prestigious 2022-23 Blue Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with hopes of getting noticed by college recruiters. Two games were played on December 12th and 19th featuring the East vs West squads with more than 3,500 fans in attendance. For players like Brownsville Hanna’s defensive end, Manrique Cantu, it was a dream come true. “To play here at AT&T Stadium and come running out of that tunnel was amazing,” said Cantu.

On December 12th, Game One, Brownsville Porter High School WR Gunnar Williams had five catches for the East team with Donna QB Jake Garcia (6’2) connecting with Williams to put the East squad up early in the first half. Teammates Mercedes WR Tyrell Trevino and WR Xavier Sanchez also had spectacular afternoons against the West squad. The West team opened it up in the second half with multiple handoffs to Brownsville Hanna’s RB Kriz Pena, who put his team in scoring position. Both Hanna recruits, DE 6’1 Gilbert Morales and DE 6’2 Manrique Cantu kept the pressure on East QB Garcia and Ripley Luna from Kellogg HS in Idaho. Cantu sacked the Oregon Ducks recruit for a loss. “That was a big-time sack,” laughed Cantu. Also making an impact for the West team were OL Abraham Lozano from Brownsville Rivera HS and Hidalgo OL Damyn Zepeda. West PSJA WR 6’3 Christian Gamboa almost had catch from QB Grayson King from Sachse HS for a score but that play was broken up by East defender, Brownsville Rivera DB Alek Guzman. The West won 37-17.

On December 19th, Game Two, Edinburg North OL Stephen Flores led his West team to a 20-13 victory over the East in the 2022 Blue Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Flores was one of eight players from the Rio Grande Valley-area earning invitations to play in the prestigious game. The West scored first on a 44-yard field goal by Brady Orr from River Bluff HS in South Carolina. The East responded with 53-yard field goal by Michigan commit, 5’6″ Cordell Jones-McNally from Marcellus HS in Michigan to tie the game at 3-3 at the start of the second quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, the West scored on a pass to TE Joshua Willhite from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma for 38-yard touchdown to make it 10-6 with 7:58 left from quarterback 6’2 Drew Cowart from Queen Creek, Arizona. On the kickoff, former NFL QB Seneca Wallace, coaching the West team, let his team loose only to sack East QB Bax Townsend from Lubbock Christian HS for a loss at their own 7-yard line. The West 6’4 QB Evan Rearick would end the East hopes on a 32-yard touchdown pass to WR Nikaidian Gray from Lake Dallas HS in Texas to make it 17-6 with 5:25 left to play. The final score, West 20 East 13. The East team was coached by former NFL Green Bay Packers DB Kenny Stills. “This is a great opportunity for senior players to play against top recruits from across the United States,” says West team coach, Seneca.

Rio Grande Valley OL Flores from Edinburg North High School shook hands and gave hugs to his new teammates and was elated just to be part of the Blue Grey All-American Bowl. “This is where Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes played,” says Flores. “Hopefully, I will get the same chance too.”

The Blue-Grey All-American Bowl hosts football combine camps throughout the United States looking for top football players annually to invite to the annual bowl games. Bowl games are played at AT&T Stadium and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Rio Grande Valley will host its second annual Blue Grey All-American Bowl sponsored by High School Sports Magazine.

For more information on football combines and player rosters go to www.BlueGreyFootball.com