KINGSVILLE, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University’s Jeff Howard was credited with two tackle assists Friday night in the West All-Stars’ 18-15 loss to the East in the sixth annual Cactus Bowl NCAA Division II all-star football game, hosted by Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Howard started at an inside linebacker position for the West squad.
The West rallied from a 10-0 second-quarter deficit to take a 15-10 lead with 9:38 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Tarleton State’s Ray Gates, capping a nine-play, 49-yard drive.
But the East went in front for good with 5:50 left when Catawba’s Justin Samples capped a four-play, 71-yard march with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Harry Williams of Tuskeegee.
Samples was named the game’s MVP on offense, completing 14-of-23 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. The East’s Keyonta Marshall was the defensive MVP, while Michigan Tech’s Joe Berger of the East earned the Jim Langer Award as the game’s top offensive lineman.
The East has won three of the last four meetings, but the West still leads the series 7-4-1. The game was played in Fargo, N.D., for six years and called the Snow Bowl before coming to Kingsville.