South All-Stars knock off North, 27-25

Taylor Catrett makes a tackle during the game.

SAN JOSE
– A pair of Gilroy and Live Oak football players had the chance
to finish their high school careers with a win as the South
All-Star squad defeated the North team 27-25 in exciting finish
during the 29th Annual Charlie Wedmeyer All-Star game Thursday at
San Jose City College.
SAN JOSE – A pair of Gilroy and Live Oak football players had the chance to finish their high school careers with a win as the South All-Star squad defeated the North team 27-25 in exciting finish during the 29th Annual Charlie Wedmeyer All-Star game Thursday at San Jose City College.

For Gilroy’s Tony Beal and Brian Lopez and Live Oak’s Orin Catrett and Bryan Jones, all the hard work in practice paid off.

Catrett came up with the play of the game when he recovered a punt at the North 44-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown at the end of the third quarter.

“I took the snap and then was the first one down the field,” Catrett said. “I heard footsteps behind me, and I covered it up.”

The South then executed a nice reverse play as Silver Creek running back Anthony Reeves found Piedmont Hills’ Guy Blightman for a 17-yard gain. Reyes ran it down to the 15-yard line for another first down. And Silver Creek quarterback Dustin Long found Blightman for the touchdown to put the south up 20-19.

The South then went up 27-19 after Alesana Ula of Independence stripped a ball after a pass on the next possession and took it in for a touchdown from about 20 yards out.

The North team made it interesting as Sean Manson connected with Phil Ghilarducci, who made a finger-tip 28-yard catch. After the two-point attempt failed, the South retained the 27-25 lead. The North had one last chance to go for the win, but the team was unable to beat the clock out.

Lopez’s play on the offensive line consistently allowed the running backs to gain ground during the game.

“I was able to cut right inside to help them pick up eight or nine yards,” Lopez said.

Lopez plans on returning to play on the very same field for the Jaguars. He was thinking about sitting out a year to gain a little strength, but said that might have changed after the All-Star game.

“The football bug bit me,” Lopez said. “We practiced hard against them to get ready. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Among the many logos on Lopez’s helmet, he even displayed a Live Oak emblem, although it appeared to be in blue.

Jones gave the South a big boost in the third quarter after almost recovering a fumble earlier in the game.

After the South had taken a 14-13 lead, Jones helped pushed the North way back into negative territory.

“I just tried to get there and hit someone hard,” Jones said. “We were practicing hitting hard from the first day. The defense played well together, and the offense moved the ball down the field.”

Jones said it was a good warmup for when he attends college in the fall at the University of Puget Sound.

“It was great getting back on the field again,” Jones said. “It was good to go out with a win.”

On the same play that the North was moved back on, the team caught a break on a bad snap the kicker ran for a first down.

The North later went on to score a touchdown on that drive to go up 19-14.

Beal, who will be attending Gavilan in the fall, also said the game was a good way to get ready.

“We just wanted to give it our all,” Beal said. “We kind of wanted to make up for last year and show we are still capable of playing.”

Catrett said that the team was able come together and jive.

“It’s the best team I’ve been on,” Catrett said. “It was real intense. Everyone knows their positions and knows how to play the game.”

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