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Hughes' huge day carries East in Shrine Bowl 9-man

By Tom Miller

Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — Catching, running and passing for a touchdown in the same game happens once in a lifetime to a very select few high school football players.

But forgive Thompson wide receiver Marcus Hughes if he wasn’t blown away by his own performance Saturday night, in a 28-18 East victory over the West in the annual Shrine Bowl 9-man all-star game at Cushman Field.

Hughes not only pulled off the feat in the Shrine Bowl, but he ended his Tommies career the same way. In the North Dakota 9-man state championship game, Hughes also caught, ran and threw for a touchdown.

Hughes, who’s heading to Mayville State to play baseball, capped his football career with four unique touchdowns in the Shrine game.

“It was an awesome day,” Hughes said. “It’s probably the best way imaginable (to finish my career). It’s surreal thinking about taking the pads off for the last time. I have very mixed emotions about that.”

Hughes, who finished with 13 catches for 121 yards, started the scoring in the game with a 20-yard touchdown reception from Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg quarterback Reese Hanson in the first quarter.

He added a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, he caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Hanson as he juked a defender down the sideline to give the East a 20-6 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, the East went to a double-reverse pass. The play ended with Hughes finding Richland’s Hunter Lentz for an 8-yard touchdown pass.

“He’s a special kid,” East head coach and Thompson head coach Brady Schwab said. “He can do a lot of things, and he’s like a coach on the field. You put kids on the field with that ability, who tell you what works best, it makes it easy. We’re going to miss him in our programs. He’s going to Mayville State, and they’re getting a good one.”

The West made things interesting late with 12 fourth-quarter points, behind the play of Dickinson State recruit and New Salem/Glen Ullin quarterback Evan Henke, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for one.

Henke finished 12-for-19 passing with two interceptions and 173 yards. He also ran 17 times for 87 yards.

Trailing 28-18 in the final five minutes, the West put pressure on the East with a 62-yard pass from Henke to North Star’s Gavin Miller, who appeared to score a touchdown tip-toeing down the sideline but was ruled out at the 10.

On the next play, Henke was picked off by Hankinson’s Hayden Boll.

Joining Hughes for the East offense was Hanson, who finished with 109 passing yards on 10-for-16 passing, and New Rockford-Sheyenne quarterback Teddy Allmaras, who threw for 51 yards and ran for 42.