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Schwabe's arm leads East past West in 9-man Shrine Bowl

9-Man East's Calen Schwabe of Thompson nears the goal line as 9-Man West's Statler Olson of Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood tries to tackle him in the first half of the 9-Man Shrine Game at the Alerus Center Sunday. (Eric Hylden / Forum News Service)1 / 3
9-Man East's Cody Mauch of Hankinson hauls in a touchdown as West's Carson Wilkes of North Prairie defends in the first half of the 9-Man Shrine Game Sunday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. (Eric Hylden / Forum News Service)2 / 3
9-Man West's Brody Cahill of North Prairie goes airborne into the endzone as 9-Man East's Andrew Lee of North Border defends in the first half of the Shrine Game at the Alerus Center Sunday. (Eric Hylden / Forum News Service)3 / 3

Calen Schwabe's pitching on the baseball field has been limited this summer due to a sore arm.

On the football field, Schwabe's arm—as well as his legs—were fine Sunday night at the Alerus Center. The Thompson High School graduate accumulated 269 yards in total offense in leading the 9-man East team past the West 28-27 in the annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl.

Schwabe, the 9-man senior player of the year in the 2016 season, was 13-of-20 passing for 178 yards. He also gained 91 yards on 10 carries.

"In baseball, I'll feel (pain) if I have to cut loose on a throw,'' Schwabe said. "I feel it on a few throws in football, but not as much. It doesn't bother me a lot.

"I was just trying to find receivers. They made me look good. Cody Mauch is a pretty easy target. He catches everything. And his height helps.''

Schwabe threw a 5-yard TD pass to Jake Ihland and scoring passes of 28 and 8 yards to the 6-foot-6 Mauch. The Hankinson product, using his height and athleticism, caught 9 passes for 147 yards.

"To be this tall, to have this reach, it's awesome,'' Mauch said. "I've been blessed with this height.

"I've never had something like numbers like this in a game before. It was a game of a lifetime.''

The two teams exchanged touchdowns throughout the game, with the West taking its first lead at 21-20 with 10:10 left in the third on a Brody Cahill run and an Isaac Mills extra-point kick.

But the East went ahead to stay with 1:36 left in the third on Schwabe's 8-yard TD pass to Mauch, with Alec Kiecker catching the 2-point conversion for the tying and winning points.

"Apparently, it doesn't hurt Calen throwing a football,'' said West coach Brady Schwab, Schwabe's coach at Thompson. "You want your good athletes making plays. Both quarterbacks were really tough.''

Brady Wegh's 45-yard run with 7:48 left in the game made it 28-27, but the West couldn't convert on its conversion attempt.

Cahill, an all-state quarterback from Northern Lights, was 10-of-20 passing for 182 yards and rushed for 47 yards. He had 15-, 6- and 9-yard scoring runs. Cahill also was a finalist for the 9-man senior player of the year award.

Playing against the senior player of the year winner "was definitely motivation,'' Cahill said. "You want to go out and prove that you're better than any athlete on the field. And I had a lot of weapons to help me.''