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The score was 0-0 after the first half of the 64th Annual North-South All-Star Football Game on Saturday thanks to the heroics of Northwestern defensive back O’Darryll Davis-Douglas.
The South set up for a 42-yard field goal on the first series of the game, but Davis-Douglas raced in and blocked the kick.
It was among few highlights by the North, which had its four-game win streak snapped in a 23-0 loss to the fired-up South squad. The North leads the series 37-25-2.
“We had a better defensive team and that’s what won the game,” said Jams Waring, head coach for the South. “Early in game we got a good read on their team speed, allowing our secondary to backpeddle when dropping into coverage.
“Another key was the players suggested by coach Jeff Calabrese (Class AAA state champ Hartsville’s coach) who had seen the defensive talent of the players from the Pee Dee area and suggested we take them. Most of them know each other, so from the first practice it was like we had always been a team.”
Defense ruled the day. The North rushed for minus-7 yards, but passed for 184. The South rushed for 245 yards but passed for only 98.
The South cashed in on several big plays for touchdowns. One was a 78-yard run from scrimmage by Summerville’s Jarrod Tucker on the second play of the third quarter.
Another was set up on a 79-yard punt return by South Aiken’s DeAndre Schutlz to the North 4. South MVP Daitwan Commodore (Fort Dorchester) scored from the 3 to put his team ahead 16-0.
The South also turned a nice defensive play into 2 points, sacking Blythewood’s Kylen Binn for a safety and a 9-0 third-quarter lead.
The turnovers were atrocious. The South was intercepted four times, including one by Davis-Douglas, and lost a fumble. The North was intercepted twice and also gave the ball away on a fumble.
“The game was scoreless when I blocked the field goal, and I was thinking I had to step up because we wanted to score first,” Davis-Douglas said. “The problem was we didn’t score. We made mistakes and never could get anything done on offense. But I had fun and it was a good experience.”
The South also got a 12-yard TD run from Commodore in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
A rule was out in this year that the coaches for each team had to agree on the same offense to run. They chose a basic running and passing game, with the only difference being the patterns the receivers ran.
Rock Hill’s Joe Montgomery, the North coach, said it had no effect.
“The difference was their defensive line,” he said. “We got behind in the second half and that left us having to throw the ball down the field to catch up. We just didn’t do it well.”
The game was dedicated to former St. John’s coach Bob Biggerstaff, whose career as a coach and athletic director spanned 40 years.
• NOTES: The North MVPs were Spartanburg’s Simeon Byrd on defense and Newberry’s Tovaris Cureton on offense. Commodore was the South MVP, Lake View Knoll’s Darius Leonard on defense.
• LOCALS: Five Herald-area players were on the North roster and the following are their stats:
South Pointe’s Devin Pearson 5-10-56-1 passing; 10 carries, 3 yards rushing; Rock Hill’s Jaleel Scott 2 catches, 14 yards; Nation Ford’s AK McCoy none; York’s Beau Nunn 3 tackles, sack, .5 tackle for loss; Northwestern’s O’Darryll Davis-Douglas 5 tackles, interception, blocked kick.
SOUTH 23, NORTH 0
S – Jarrod Tucker 78 run (Max Huggins kick)
S – safety
S – Daitwan Commodore 3 run (Huggins kick)
S – Commodore 12 run (Huggins kick)
RUSHING: North – Kylen Binn 9-14, Devin Pearson 10-3, Osharmar Abercrombie 2-0, Nicholas Sims-Metts 3-0, Levi Bufford 3-(-2), Trey Robinson 8-(-14). South – Tucker 3-75, Commodore 12-61, Anthony Smalls 8-52, Noah Shuler 11-48, CJ Frazier 4-9, D’Andre Schultz 1-0.
PASSING: North – Binn 7-20-90-1, Pearson 5-10-56-1, Robinson 4-6-38-0. South – Frazier 7-13-72-3, Smalls 4-7-26-1.
RECEIVING: North – Toboras Cureton 3-58, Ty Garrett 3-54, Dorian Reins 2-16, Jaleel Scott 2-14, Bufford 2-10, Hakim Frazier 2-7, Abercrombie 1-14, Robinson 1-11. South – D’Vonta Delaney 3-33, Jordan Berry 3-20, Marquise Webb 2-26, Rudder Brown 2-12, Shuler 1-7.
Barry Byers 802-329-4099