Hassan Maxwell split time for two weeks.
Along with Pittston Area teammates James Emmett and Michael Schwab, Maxwell doubled up between the start of practices for his senior basketball season and practices with the East UNICO All-Star football team to complete his high school career in that sport.
The group would leave basketball practice a little early some days to get to UNICO practice and other times would stick with basketball and arrive at the football all-star practice in progress.
Despite the hectic schedule, Maxwell made sure to go all out.
“When we got there, they were kind of short on running backs,” said Maxwell, who had been used as much as a receiver as a ballcarrier with the Patriots. “I just tried to get in there and take as many reps as I could.”
By the time the game rolled around Nov. 30, Maxwell had positioned himself as the primary runner in the East team, which fell to the West, 55-14.
Maxwell carried 17 times for 86 yards in the losing effort.
“I was a little nervous,” Maxwell said during a break at Meet the Patriots Night Wednesday at the Pittston Area gym. “I didn’t know what to expect. There were teams from everywhere.”
The West won for the eighth straight time with help from contributions by players from district champions Wyoming Valley West and Lake-Lehman, which provided game Most Valuable Player Dustin Jones and his four touchdown runs.
While Jones led the West running game, Maxwell led the East running game to keep the game tight for most of the first half.
On a team drawing players from Coughlin, Crestwood, GAR, Hanover Area, Hazleton Area, Meyers, Nanticoke and Pittston Area in the all-star game for senior Wyoming Valley Conference players, Maxwell made himself into the starting tailback.
Maxwell had four runs of at least 11 yards. He took a draw 11 yards on the game’s third play to convert third-and-nine. Maxwell had an 18-yard run to the West 19 on the only East scoring drive of the first half. He added consecutive runs of 17 and 11 yards late in the third quarter.
The East managed to force a 7-7 tie with 8:13 left in the half before the West ran off three touchdowns in the final six minutes of the second quarter to break the game open.
Maxwell was 5-for-33 in the drive for the tying touchdown, including runs that advanced the ball three yards to the 2 on first-and-goal and two yards to the 1 on third down. Hazleton Area Julius Ward took it in from the 1.
Pittston Area matched Coughlin and Meyers in providing the most players to the East roster with seven each.
Emmett carried once for four yards.
Mike Hughes, R.J. Haas, Billy Scaramastro and Rich Weinstock were also on the team.
Wyoming Area had four players on the winning West team, which also had players from Dallas, Holy Redeemer, Northwest and Tunkhannock, along with Wyoming Valley West and Lake-Lehman.
Danielle Stillarty connected on seven of her eight extra-point attempts.
The other Warriors in the game were Matt Dimick, Mike Lumley, and Tyler Resciniti.
Farrad Condry and Jeremy Seabridge were selected for the game, but were unavailable because of injuries.