WINGATE - If nothing else, the 29th Lezzer Lumber Classic, held Friday night at Bald Eagle Area's Alumni Stadium, was highly entertaining before a decent crowd on a warm night.
While there were flashes of defense throughout, offense, as is usually the case in all-star sporting events, was ever present on both sides of the ball, with the North defeating the South in the highest score ever in the event, 49-27.
The Outstanding Players on Offense and Defense, selected by the media, were: Von Walker of Central Mountain, offense, and Dan Fry of State College, defense, for the North team; Brian Urban, Hollidaysburg, offense, and Matt Barton, Hollidaysburg, defense.
Photo for the Mirror by Christopher Shannon
Hollidaysburg’s Kaleb Springer, on the South team, wraps up DuBois’ Jared Baummer.
"Coming into an all-star game like this, you really don't know what to expect," South coach John Barton said. "You don't know what's going to happen. The key to our game plan was that we spent a lot of time on special teams. Every day in practice we made sure to make the most of what we were going to do on special teams, and tonight they were able to make some plays.
"I will say it was entertaining," Barton added. "I'm a defensive-minded coach, and all that scoring is not my kind of fun. A 7-6, 12-10 score is always fine with me, and I always hate those kind of games, but sometimes that happens. And I suppose, as you said, it was very entertaining because there was a lot of points scored."
Despite losing by 22 points, the South produced 375 yards of total offense to a mere 190 yards for the North.
The game didn't start out so well for the South team as the North took the opening kickoff 27 yards on a return by Clearfield's Trey Jordan to the South's 45. Doug Twigg, Glendale, ran for 7. Walker hook up with Jordan on a 40 yard pass play to the South's 9. Walker then bolted in for the score and the North was up 7-0 following Phil Esposito's (Brockway) conversion with 10:53 to play.
The South managed five yards on three plays and were forced to punt from their own 24 but a bad snap resulted in a safety for a 9-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, the South's defense rose to the occasion when Hollidaysburg's Matt Barton recovered a fumble, and aided by a downfield block from Altoona's Josh Kutz, rambled 45 yards for a touchdown. Huntingdon's Bryant Weller booted the PAT to make it a 9-7 game with 8:59 still to play in the opening period.
A 34-yard return by Jordan put the North in business at mid-field then QB Cole Long, Bald Eagle Area, hooked up on a 23-yard pass to DuBois' Jared Baummer. Walker tacked on a 15-yard run but then the drive stalled and the North settled for Seth Beardsley, Clearfield, 16-yard field goal and a 12-7 lead.
The South then went on the longest drive of the game, 15-play, 91-yards, that was capped by Hollidaysburg's Urban bulling into the end zone from a yard out to take a 14-12 lead.
The North responded with a 43-yard return from Twigg. Walker ran for 12 and then QB Long found Jordan for a 22-yard scoring strike. Esposito's conversion gave the North a 19-14 led.
The South responded with another long drive going 92 yards in 12 plays capped by Urban finding Golden Tigers' teammate Blake Davis for a 25-yard score and a 21-19 lead.
State College's Dan Fry stopped the South's drive with an interception that the North turned into another score, a 17-yard run by Glendale's Damon Braniff, giving the North a 27-21 halftime lead.
"I thought it was a very hard-fought game," said Hollidaysburg's Kaleb Springer. "Both teams were obviously very talented but unfortunately they made some plays that just broke us a couple of times.
"We thought we had a good week of practice and were ready," added Springer. "But it's an All-Star game and things happen that you can't be to upset about.
"It was a great honor for me to be selected," said Springer. "When I found out I was selected I was thrilled. My brother played in this and ever since I've always wanted to play in this game. It's been a great opportunity. This will definitely get me ready for college football and I've met a lot of good people and made a lot of new friends. After all that's what this is all about."
The North increased its lead to 39-21 midway through the third period when Walker hooked up with DuBois' Baummer on a 50-yard scoring strike.
Following a South punt, the North was on the march again going 58 yards in seven plays capped by Penns Valley's Scott Johnson finding DuBois' Garret Brown for a 56-yard scoring strike. Esposito's PAT made it a 42-21 North lead.
The South's final score came off a circus catch by Tyrone's Charles Wilson-Adams who made a leaping catch for an 11-yard touchdown. The PAT was missed and the North held a 42-27 lead.
The North closed the scoring with a short 20-yard drive capped by Walker's 8-yard run and Esposito's PAT.
"It was absolutely an entertaining game," said North coach Michael Keith, Moshannon Valley. "It was all all-stars, the best of every team so it was easy to coach and they were great group to work with. They were all gentlemen and fun to be around and they will all do good things in the future.
"We were a little surprised on the points we put up," add Keith. "You come in and you never know what to expect. You just don't know but it was fun to watch and to coach."
Score by Quarters:
North - 19 8 8 14 - 49
South - 14 7 0 6 - 27
North - Von Walker, 9 run (Phil Esposito kick), 10:53.
North - Safety punted out of end zone, 9:21,
South - Matt Barton 56 fumble recovery return, 8:59.
North - Seth Beardsley, 16 field goal, 6:59.
South - Brian Urban, 1 run (Bryant Weller kick), 1:36.
South - Blake Davis, 25 pass from Brian Urban (Bryant Weller kick),
North - Jared Baummer, 50 pass from Von Walker (Garrett Brown run),
North - Garrett Brown 56 pass from Scott Johnson (Phil Esposito kick),
South - Charles Wilson-Adams, 11 pass from Brian Urban, (pass fail),
Rushing North: Twigg, Glendale, 1-7; Walker, Central Mountain, 9-73; Brown, Dubois, 4-15; Braniff, Glendale, 6-48; Long, Bald Eagle Area, 1-(4); Jordan, Clearfield, 1-7 South: Urban, Hollidaysburg, 13-32; Helsel, Claysburg-Kimmel, 8-62; DeGennaro, Bellwood-Antis, 6-40; Grissinger, Juniata Valley, 6-19; Beck, Mifflin County, 4-4; Wilson-Adams, Tyrone, 1-11; Waite, Southern Huntingdon, 4-33; Slick, Central, 3-17; Team 1-(3).
Passing - North: Walker, Central Mountain, 2-5-0 34 yards; Long, Bald Eagle Area, 2-2-0 10 yards South: Urban, Hollidaysburg, 14-29-2 115 yards; Beck, Mifflin County, 0-1-1 0yards; Grissinger, Juniata Valley, 1-1-0 45 yards.
Receiving - North: Jordan, Clearfield, 3-40; Baummer, Dubois, 1-(6); Zimmerman, Punxsutawney, 1-10 South: Beck, Mifflin County, 6-18; Bookhammer, Williamsburg, 4-21; O'Shea, Bellwood-Antis, 3-15; Davis, Hollidaysburg, 3-30; Grissinger, Juaniata Valley, 2-12; Helsel, Claysburg-Kimmel, 1-3; White, Southern Huntingdon, 1-0; DeGennaro, Bellwood-Antis, 2-0; Wilson-Adams, Tyrone, 4-16; Zook, Tyrone, 1-0; Urban, Hollidaysburg, 1-45.