OSHKOSH—Wisconsin's high school all-star game came down literally to the last seconds.
Matt Droher's 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with five ticks left on the clock, preserving a 16-14 victory for the South All-Stars in the annual Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Shrine Bowl at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Titan Stadium Saturday night.
The North trailed 16-7 with 6:30 left to play, having been held to 102 yards of total offense by a stingy South defense. But Marshfield quarterback Alex Smith directed a 7-play, 59-yard drive capped with a 6-yard touchdown pass to D.C. Everest receiver Chris Rutta with 3:58 to play. The South clung to the 16-14 edge with 2:11 remaining, when the North drove the ball 54 yards, from their own 21-yard-line down to the South's 25 before Osceola's Droher was called on to attempt the possible game winner with time running out.
The South's win in the 29th annual Shrine Bowl was its fourth consecutive in the all-star series.
Hudson offensive lineman Eric Vanden Heuvel was the only University of Wisconsin scholarship recruit who played in Saturday's game. Suiting up for the North, Vanden Heuvel played on a line that helped garner 215 passing yards and zero net rushing yards.
Vanden Heuvel's North teammate, Shane Phillips, a defensive back from Sturgeon Bay who will walk on to the Badger football team, finished with two solo tackles and two assists. Phillips said after the game that UW coaches have told him he will play free safety. He is planning to arrive in Madison Aug. 9 for fall camp.
Although no Wisconsin scholarship athletes competed on the South All-Star team, two future walk-ons, defensive end Joe Molenda (Wisconsin Lutheran), and defensive back Chris Eernisse (Grafton), saw playing time Saturday. Eernisse finished with three solo tackles and an assist, including a one-yard tackle for loss. Molenda, meanwhile, recorded a nine-yard sack and recovered a fumble early in the first quarter.
Rutta scored each of the North's touchdowns, both of which came on passes from Smith. The first score covered 75 yards almost 11 minutes into the first quarter and left the South trailing 7-0. But Poynette High School kicker and linebacker Nathan Yelk made three unanswered field goals (of 35, 23 and 29 yards) to put the South up 9-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Brown Deer receiver Tony Aker caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Franklin quarterback Ben Hempel to put the South up 16-7 with 12:35 left to play.
South wide receiver Matt Gifford, a soon-to-be Wisconsin walk-on from Waukesha West, did not play. He had been nursing a hamstring injury earlier in the week.
USA drains Congo at World Championship
Wisconsin sophomore guard Jolene Anderson contributed 14 points while going 3-of-5 from beyond the arc as Team USA took down Congo (0-2) 124-37 Saturday at the FIBA U-19 World Basketball Championship in Tunis, Tunisia. Stanford sophomore Candice Wiggins hit a record 7-of-10 three-point shots and collected 28 points overall while Team USA set a record for the most points scored by an American team since the championship began in 1985. The United States tied or broke seven records in this game, including Wiggins' 28 points, which tied her for the most individual points scored in a Team USA game.
Anderson also had two rebounds, two steals and a turnover in her 16 minutes of playing time.
Team USA (2-0) faces Serbia & Montenegro (1-1) Sunday.