In typical all-star game fashion, this game was inundated with turnovers but no one expected there would be three turnovers in the first two minutes of the game.
The South, coached by O'Connor's Johnny Rodriguez, recovered an onside kick on the opening play of the game but Brophy LB Tom Woodward intercepted a South pass to give the North the ball; only to see themselves turn the ball back over throwing an interception on their first play from scrimmage.
Unfortunately, the South could not capitalize turning the ball over on downs. On the next possession, the North missed their first opportunity to put points on the board, missing a field goal. Fortunately for the North, they received the ball back after another South turnover and successfully put points up after Mesa High's kicker, Tyler Ryan, connected from 43 yards out.
In the second quarter, the South put together their first meaningful drive and scored the first touchdown of the game. South QB Dexter Bethers hit Pinnacle WR Alex Zemezonak on a long pass that gave them the ball at the 11 yard line. Bethers then connected with Sunnyside's Chris Howard from 11 yards out to give the South a 7-3 lead.
The game got ugly on the next possession. Chaparral LB Chris Arnold and Gilbert WR Jesse Brantley got into a fight and both players were ejected from the game. When the dust settled, the result was an offsetting penalty but on the next play the North received 30 free yards after two South personal foul penalties. A few plays later, Hamilton's Michael Allen rumbled in from 11 yards out to give the North a 10-7 lead headed into halftime.
During halftime, Chandler and Westview played in the championship of the day's 7 on 7 tournament with the Wolves coming out on top.
The teams exchanged scores in the 3rd quarter. North QB Kevin Pantastico scored at the 6:25 mark giving a 16-7 lead, after a missesd PAT. The South cut the lead to 2 when Bethers and Simon hooked up from 18 yards out. Score: 16-14 North
The North scored two times in the 4th quarter, both after turnovers. Mesquite LB Maka Taufa intercepted a pass and raced his way to the endzone for a 23-14 lead in favor of the North.
Mountain Pointe LB Joey Leal intercepted another pass taking the ball to the 16 yard line. Corona QB Chase Cartwright scored from just a few yards out to end the game.
Final 29-14 North
Turnovers and penalties plagued the game and the North team took advantage, scoring 17 of their 29 points after turnovers.
Mesquite linebacker Maka Taufa was named the MVP. He was easily the best player in the game without a place to play next year. Taufa will go on his church mission next year which explains this.
5A-4A AzFCA All-Star Game Recap
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