Things started off ugly for the South squad as they fumbled away the opening kickoff but a strong defensive effort the rest of the way helped them clinch a 14-7 win over the North in the 2A-3A All-Star Game at Glendale Community College on Friday night.
The North team did not capitalize on the kickoff blunder, despite getting the ball inside the 20 yard line, missing a short field goal. They missed another golden opportunity to put points on the board just a few minutes later.
The South's second possesion resulted in another turnover as St. John's DB Garrett Anderson intercepted the first pass of the drive. But again, the North would get no points, turning the ball over on downs.
The South finally got the ball rolling on their third possesion, putting together a nice, ball controlled drive that led to the first score of the game. They pounded the ball down the field and Benson RB Kyle Grafscored from 5 yards out to give the South a 7-0 lead, a lead they would never give up.
During the 2nd quarter, again the North had plenty of chances to put points up but came away with none. Early in the 2nd they moved the ball to the opposite 23 yard line and turned the ball over on downs. Later, another nice looking drive was put to an end after the South's Jordan Hensil intercepted a pass.
The North got an INT of their own, when Round Valley's Justin Taylor tipped a pass to himself and rumbled inside the the 20. The North got all the way down to the 3 yard line but Estrella Foothills corner Avery Boykin intercepted yet another pass with 2 minutes left to play in the game.
The South drove down the field and punched in another score with 11 seconds left in the half.
14-0 at the half.
Neither team threatened to score in the 3rd quarter and it wasn't until the 7:30 mark in the 4th that any more points were tallied.
The North's first and only points of the game nearly didn't happen. The South forced a fumble after a completed pass and recovered. Trying to make a play, the South squad pitched the ball around after the fumble which led to a fumble of their own. The North recovered, giving them the ball back in scoring position.
Blue Ridge's Jake Meixler found Monument Valley wideout Jonathan Delmar in the back of the endzone to cut the lead back to 7 but never got any closer.
Final 14-7, South over the North.
The North team had plenty of opportunites to put points on the board, especially early when they got the ball twice in great field position, but were not able to score until the 7:30 mark in the 4th quarter. Turnovers and stalled drives were commonplace for the North.
But give credit where credit is due, the South defense was put in some bad spots and was resiliant and key to their victory.
The AzFCA named Fountain Hills' Jordan Henslin as their player of the game. I would also like to give a shout out to the South Defense for forcing all of those turnovers.
3A-2A AzFCA All-Star Game Recap
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