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South All Stars Power and Pass Past North 54-19
photo by Mike CameronL-R,Otter Valley -2014 South All Star Coach Brian Hill with Fair Haven Head coach and 2015 South AllStar Mentor Brian Grady
photo by Mike Cameron
Tuesday November 17, 2015
By Mike Cameron
If you like offensive football, this was the game for you. The South All Stars led by two of the most successful passing tandems in Vermont this year led the way. Division 1 Champion Rutland Quarterback Andrew Kenosh and his top aerial targets Cam Slade and Austin O'Gorman along with rugged running back Cleb White waerone unit. Another equally devastating unit consisted of Fair Haven's smooth operating quarterback Ryan Alexander and wide out Lucas Czarnecki bolstered in the backfield by Otter Valley running back Carson Leary and Middlebury's Jerry Niemo. As South Coach and Fair Haven Slater Mentor Brian Grady commented when asked about all the weapons at his disposal; “We used Andy and the people he was used to playing with all year and we did the same with Ryan, with the addition of Carson Palmer from OV at running back and it worked out well.”
The North, coached by Marty Richards of Mount Mansfield Union, employed the solid field-general-ship of U-32's Matt Green and Eli DiGrande of the Essex Hornets. Colby Brochu of Division 3 runner-up U-32 led the North Running attack with several punishing runs.
The game billed as the Hall of Fame Classic was hosted by Middlebury College and was co-ordinated by former Panther Head Coach Mickey Heineken Chairman and his always enthusiastic staff of volunteers at Alumni Stadium in Middlebury for The Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame headquartered in South Bend Indiana.The foundation sees to it that at least one player from every team in the state has an opportunity to play in an all star game and continuing the growth of the game. Families and fans of players packed the stands on Saturday November 14th 2015. It was a brisk football afternoon with wind gusts and temperatures in the mid-30s.
Rutland's Kenosh hit team mate Slade at the left pylon after sustaining a drive from the South 23-yard line on the opening drive of the game. Almost 5-minutes of clock were consumed. The teams played 15-minute college quarters and a play clock was used.
Leading 6-0, the South stopped a good looking North drive inside their 45 and went to work again. This time Fair Havens Alexander slipped a pass rush and found Czarnecki streaking between two North defenders in the left corner of the end-zone launching the ball while he was en-route. The athletic Czarnecki looked over his right shoulder just as the ball arrived and hauled it in for a score. Kenosh kicked the point and the South was now up 13-0 at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter and there was more on the way. But first the North began to move the ball with Brad Bombard of Milton hammering between the tackles until Wyatt Laberge and Nick Beauchamp both Tigers, closed the door on that drive forcing a punt.
Jerry Niemo got the call twice on the next offensive series for the South. He powered up the middle got open on a sideline route and was overthrown, then smashed off tackle and picked up a key first down for the South. It set up an Alexander pass to Cam Slade with just under 30-seconds left in the first quarter. Slade made a leaping grab and scored again. Alexander then threw to Windsor's Nick Kapuscinski for a two point conversion, making it 21-0 after the first quarter
It would prove to be a blueprint for the rest of the first half. The North would not fold. Eli Di Grande of Essex threw a nice pass to Richard Lowery of CVU who then plowed to the South 11-yard line and Colby Brochu of U-32 ran off-tackle for the score. The missed point-after made it 21-6 and the North was back in it. The South returned to the red zone quickly and went right back to work on the next possession. Fair Haven's Czarnecki took a short pass from Kenosh who had missed several plays with a knee strain. Czarnecki ran over two defenders and plowed to the three. Alexander then hit Rutland's Steve Ell for the TD and Kenosh kicked the point. It was 28-6 at the half.
In the second half the South pass rush led by Tigers Wyatt Laberge and Nick Beauchamp harassed and tackled ball carriers on almost every play. Ali-Abdul-Sader and Sawyer Ryan were also very solid for the South.
At the 1:03 mark of the third quarter, Carson Leary of Otter Valley made a determined rush that had the visiting scouts jaws agape. Leary took a hand off at the 9-yard line moved to his right and ran in for a touchdown dragging defenders for four of those hard earned yards. At six-two-and two-twenty he is powerful,quick and has break away speed. His score made it 34-6, the South. The North blocked the point, Colby Trudeau got it.
Carson Leary got another South score at 11:39 of the 4th quarter. This time he plowed through heavy traffic from 26-out right up the middle. Again the point was blocked by Trudeau of Essex on a great kick rush.
With the score 41-6, the North's Colby Brochu stunned the South with a 41-yard off tackle blast and sprint for a touchdown and the kick was good. The score was 41-13 and he clock was ticking away. Coach Marty Richards knew that a comeback was probably not on the horizon but the North fought on and scored again taking advantage of the game's 14-point rule to maintain possession. Their next touchdown gave them their final points of the contest.
At the 8:39 mark of the 4th quarter the game was still competitive at 41-19. More scoring from the North was on the way. The Tigers Jerry Neimo smashed over from 4-yards out. Niemo had a great game on both sides of the ball for the South. Rutland's Caleb White also found the end zone with a dive and the South ended the game taking three knees in a row. The South wins 54-19. This year's crop of senior talent for the 2016 Shrine Game looked very good indeed.
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