DALLAS, TEXAS – Shawnee seniors Jack Diamond and Tyree York played the final football game of their high school careers Thursday on the West team in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. West beat East 27-24 thanks to a field goal with less than one minute to play on a drive led by Diamond.
The two Wolves hadn't played a game together since Week 6 of Shawnee's season, when York suffered a season-ending injury on a punctured lung.
“It was the best thing. I didn't think that I was going to be able to get the chance to come back and play. I just worked with my dad over about two months and once I bounced back I was here,” York said. Coaches were really good, taught me a lot of new things and I was just happy to be able to play with my quarterback again.”
In his first game in more than two months, York bobbled a connecting flight from Diamond in the third quarter before bringing it down for the first catch between the powerful duo since the injury, and sent the West side into a frenzy.
York was stopped just short of the endzone in another reception and had one carry for a first down for three successful touches.
York was happy to finally make his return.
“It felt unreal. It's a dream. This has been my dream forever and to come back from something so serious, it's a blessing,” he said.
Diamond led two touchdown drives and a field goal drive and passed for a TD in one of those.
A 26-yard touchdown pass from Diamond gave West the first points of the game for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. He drove down field and capped with a handoff for a rushing TD in another drive and led the game-winning field goal drive.
Though the game was different than any others the two boys had played before and it was on a bigger stage, it was just another game, Diamond said.
“It was almost surreal. It was just like I was playing at Shawnee. It's a big stage, but it's just football. You've just got to play your game,” he said.
The two Wolves were glad to be back together on the field and to represent their school. Diamond and York were two of three All-Americans chosen from Shawnee this season. The third being Creed Humphrey, who will play in the Army All-American Bowl on January 7.
“Not many All-Americans have, or any have come out of Shawnee, and to be the first along with Creed it's amazing. It's quite the dream,” Diamond said.