Overland Park Even in a game showcasing the best talent in the Kansas City metro area, Free State High graduate Camren Torneden’s speed and evasiveness stood out.
Torneden, generously listed at 5-feet-7-inches on the roster, helped Kansas defeat Missouri, 26-23, Thursday night at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium in the MoKan All-Star Game.
He made defenders look as if they were playing on roller skates when he weaved his way to a 28-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.
Late in the third quarter, Torneden showed he’s not just a runner when he hit Gardner- Edgerton’s Justice Berry in stride on a long pass that Berry turned into a 47-yard score. At other times, Torneden overthrew wide-open receivers, but it’s not his throwing accuracy that inspired interest from his college of choice, NCAA Div. II school Nebraska-Omaha.
It was his speed, versatility and ability to make something out of nothing that put Torneden on the radar of college recruiters. He showed plenty of both on his way to earning MVP honors.
One of his best plays came when he scooped a low snap off the ground and darted left to avoid a mob of defenders closing in on him. He found Free State teammate Aundre Allen for a five-yard gain.
From Free State, Allen and Connor Stremel, both headed to Baker to play football, got into Thursday’s game at wide receiver. Michael Lisher, who will join Torneden at UNO, had a productive night blowing open holes for Torneden and others. Kirk Resseguie, headed for Missouri Western State, had an active night at linebacker.
Lawrence High tight end Taylor Coleman was selected to play, but was neither able to practice nor play in the game because he was sick. Coleman, who will continue his education and football career at Coffeyville Community College, watched the game from the Kansas sideline, wearing a No. 88 jersey.
Nine players in the game are planning to play football at Nebraska-Omaha. Torneden gave future teammates a glimpse of an exciting style he hopes to bring with him to college. He was recruited as an athlete, so his position isn’t yet determined.
“He can run, and he can throw, so I wouldn’t count out quarterback,” said Free State coach Bob Lisher, head coach of the Kansas all-stars.
Slot receiver and punt returner are more likely destinations for the native Texan who moved to Lawrence his sophomore year in high school.
“I love doing everything,” Torneden said of being recruited as an athlete. “One thing I don’t like is standing on the sidelines watching.”
Torneden played about half his team’s offensive series, time enough to carry Kansas to victory. He knows how to make tacklers miss.
“The big thing is arm tackling isn’t going to bring him down,” Michael Lisher said. “He’s real strong, and he’s got a low center of gravity. You’ve got to get a whole body on him, and he’s so quick big guys aren’t able to get a whole body on him.”
Bob Lisher said he was pleased with his team’s performance, considering three of the 10 days of practice were rained out.