All-Star Teams All Revved Up : North’s Defense Faces Fancy Passing Attack From South
It’s the final day of practice before tonight’s 28th Orange County All-Star football game at Orange Coast College. A chance to polish the passing attack or finalize the goal-line defense, right?
Well, not exactly. The highlight of the South camp Thursday was the undressing of Costa Mesa running back Tyler Riddell by several teammates.
South placekicker J.B. Hollis of Dana Hills put the finishing touches on three weeks of practice, winning a bet from Edison quarterback Mike Henderson for kicking a 56-yard field goal. Without a tee.
It was picture day at the North camp. Some of the players were passing around a newspaper clipping in which South linebacker Bruce DuBois of Edison had proclaimed, “We’re going to kill the North.”
North linebacker Danny Rovira of Loara arrived with a new haircut that featured red and black stripes on the sides and announced he was ready for the South: “We’ll shut down that little punk from Edison and win the game. You can quote me.”
Welcome to the 1987 all-star game. Although the game lacks some the name players in the past, it certainly isn’t lacking for characters.
Some of the players have done more talking over the past couple of weeks than a TV wrestling manager. Others are approaching the game as a final chance to impress a college scout and prove that he is a major college player.
Regardless, tonight’s game starting at 7:30 figures to be a test between a solid North defense and the South’s potent passing attack. If the game follows past form, look for the South to win.
Last year, the North entered the annual charity game with Ray Pallares of Valencia, the state’s all-time leading rusher, and Chuck Weatherspoon of La Habra, considered the best back produced in the county since Kerwin Bell was leading Edison to the Big Five Conference title in 1979.
So what happened? Pallares and Weatherspoon were reduced to bit players, struggling for 91 yards between them as the South prevailed, 28-13. Generally, the winner of an all-star game is the team that can effectively pass. South quarterback Shane Foley proved that last year, throwing for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
This year, the South features one of the best group of receivers to play in the game. Brent Parker of Capistrano Valley, Scott Miller of El Toro, Jim O’Brien of Mater Dei and Mark Craig of Newport Harbor have all been impressive.
“I’ve never seen so many good receivers on one team,” said Greg Shadid, South coach. “Our receivers are the strength of the team. They never drop a ball.”
Mike Henderson, who was recruited by the University of New Mexico as a wide receiver, will be the starting quarterback. Look for Henderson to do some running in the South’s option attack, too.
The North counters with a solid defensive unit that should benefit from some new game rules. Previously, defensive units were not allowed to stunt or blitz. Now, the game has been opened up to allow defensive players to put the pressure on the quarterbacks.
“Our strength is our linebackers and that’s why we wanted this game opened up,” said Mark McMahon, North coach. “The change should make the game a little more entertaining.”
McMahon has installed the Delaware Wing-T offense to showcase running backs Mike Miscione of Esperanza, Blaise Bryant of Cypress and Ross Bauer of El Modena.
“We’re hoping to establish a running game early,” McMahon said. “If we don’t, it could be a long night.”
Here’s a look at how the teams match up.
Receivers: The South has a big advantage here. Parker and Miller are big-play receivers while the 6-foot 6-inch Craig and O’Brien are excellent possession receivers. Tight end Dave Patstone of Tustin also figures prominently in the offense. Wide receiver Troy O’Leary of Cypress, a late addition, is the fastest player on the North team and Nick-John Haiduc is a solid receiver with a penchant for getting open.
Line: The North figured to have an outstanding offensive line with Jim Difilippo (Troy), James Rae (Esperanza) and Jeff Bailey (Fullerton). But Difilippo and Rae are injured and Bailey elected to play in the Shrine Game. Erik Wright-Hay is the best of the holdovers. The South line averages 230 pounds with 260-pound David Lannon of Bolsa Grande the biggest.
Running Backs: Neither team has a big-name back, but the North gets the advantage. Aly Diaz of El Toro, another late replacement, has been a pleasant surprise for the South.
Quarterbacks: When the rosters were announced, many figured Derek Debbs of La Quinta would instantly make the South the favorites. But he won’t start after he missed several key practices. Tom Williamson of Los Alamitos, elected team captain, will start for the North but look for versatile Mike Pawlawski in the lineup with the game on the line. Pawlawski has been erratic at times, but he has some exceptional skills and is a double threat as a passer or rusher.
Line: No contest. The South will create all types of problems for the North’s offensive line. DuBois should back up his quotes by utilizing his quickness along with Bobby Dunn of Marina. The biggest surprise in the North camp has been defensive end Cris Macias of Orange.
Linebackers: The North rates a slight edge. Brian Malavar of Loara will be playing his final football game before heading to Cal State Bakersfield on a wrestling scholarship. Art Giovannini of Western, yet another late replacement, beat out Ernest Johnston of Anaheim for a starting spot. The South’s Bryan Thomas of Santa Ana is the team’s most physical players.
Defensive Backs: Danny Ontiveros of Saddleback, voted the county’s athlete of the year by one newspaper, anchors a solid South secondary that gets the nod over an injury-riddled North secondary. Ontiveros said he will be playing his last football game, deciding to concentrate on baseball at Rancho Santiago next year. Teammate Antwon Lark of Saddleback is also very good. The position is McMahon’s biggest concern with Danny Blake (Pacifica) and Tony Ferrentino (Loara) nursing injuries.
Kicking: Hollis, selected as the state’s best punter by Cal-Hi Sports of Sacramento, gives the South an added weapon. Hollis kicked a 53-yard field goal as a junior and Shadid said he wouldn’t hesitate to use him anywhere inside the 50-yard line.
Consensus: The South is quicker but the North could keep the game close with its defense and then who knows what Pawlawski might do? The big question is whether the North’s defense can physically matchup with the South’s bigger offensive line. Also, will the North find a way to contain DuBois and Dunn? If Henderson is sharp, the game won’t be close.
There will be several notable changes from high school rules. First, a team trailing by two touchdowns will have the option of receiving after a score. Second, offensive linemen will be allowed to extend their arms while pass blocking . . . Mike Oziminski of Brea-Olinda was originally selected as the North kicker, but quit and Pawlawski will now handle kickoffs, PATs and field goal attempts. Scott Edmunds of Sunny Hills will do the punting for the North . . . The game will be videotaped for broadcast on 11 cable television systems throughout the county . . . Among the North assistants is former Minnesota Viking lineman Steve Riley. . . . The North leads the series, 15-11-1.
ORANGE COUNTY ALL--STAR FOOTBALL GAME ROSTERS
No. Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. 3 Tom Williamson Los Alamitos QB 6-3 185 5 Troy O’Leary Cypress WR 6-0 180 9 Mike Pawlawski Troy QB 6-3 195 10 Nick-John Haiduc Servite WR 5-11 170 11 Art Giovannini Western LB 6-0 195 15 Ernest Johnson Anaheim LB 6-0 215 21 Blaise Bryant Cypress RB 6-1 190 22 Dorian Estes Valencia DB 5-9 170 24 Tim Imperiali Sunny Hills WR 6-0 180 25 Robby Glover Orange DB 6-2 185 27 Mike Miscione Esperanza RB 6-1 187 31 Dan Blake Pacifica DB 5-10 175 32 Brian Malavar Loara LB 5-11 185 34 John Christensen Kennedy LB 6-0 180 40 Mike Hirou Servite DB 6-0 185 43 Scott Edmunds Sunny Hills DE 5-10 185 44 Ross Bauer El Modena RB 5-9 180 45 John Thompson El Modena LB 6-2 200 47 Chris Macias Orange DE 6-0 215 50 Steve Wood Los Alamitos OL 6-3 235 51 Shannon Lawler Sunny Hills OL 6-1 225 55 Danny Rovia Loara NG 5-8 230 59 Kevin Barton Valencia LB 6-1 207 64 Erik Wright-Hay Troy OL 6-4 235 69 Steve Palczewski Pacifica OL 6-3 255 70 Dan Price Western OL 5-11 195 73 Rob Bills La Habra OL 6-1 225 74 Shawn Racobs Valencia DL 6-1 215 75 Brad Heidelberg Cypress OL 6-2 255 77 Chris Rose Los Alamitos OL 6-1 250 80 Tony Ferrentino Loara DB 6-2 165 81 P. Boultinghouse Servite TE 6-4 225 84 Brent Reuter Fullerton DL 6-4 240 86 Robert Conner Esperanza TE 6-5 205 91 Greg Roseen Esperanza LB 5-11 185
No. Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. 3 J.B. Hollis Dana Hills K 6-1 170 4 Tyler Riddell Costa Mesa RB 5-8 175 5 Derek Debbs La Quinta QB 6-3 205 7 Danny Ontiveros Saddleback DB 5-11 170 8 Ken Rehling H. Beach DB 5-11 185 10 Mike Henderson Edison QB 6-2 185 15 Brent Parker Capistrano Valley WR 6-1 185 17 Antwon Lark Saddleback DB 5-11 170 23 Mark Craig Newport Harbor WR 6-5 205 24 Jim Kniest Corona del Mar LB 6-1 200 29 Scott Miller El Toro WR 6-0 185 30 Aly Diaz El Toro RB 5-11 180 31 David Bancroft Mission Viejo LB 6-0 200 32 Sean Magula Marina RB 5-11 190 34 Mike Szyperski Costa Mesa LB 6-0 215 38 Bruce DuBois Edison NG 5-10 180 40 David Townsend Woodbridge LB 6-1 197 41 Bryan Thomas Santa Ana LB 6-1 230 42 Jonathan Todd Laguna Beach RB 6-0 215 43 Bobby Dunn Marina DL 5-9 180 44 Chris Matney Bolsa Grande DL 5-11 195 51 David Lannon Bolsa Grande DL 6-3 260 62 Warren Taylor Fountain Valley OL 6-3 250 64 Mike Gazzaniga Foothill OL 6-3 250 65 Doug Van Lare Fountain Valley OL 6-2 225 68 Larry Stuppy Ocean View DL 6-3 220 73 S. Illingworth Tustin OL 6-4 250 77 Leo Holler La Quinta DL 6-4 220 79 Jon Barron El Toro OL 6-4 240 80 Jim O’Brien Mater Dei WR 6-1 190 85 Dave Patstone Tustin TE 6-5 225 95 Mike Cover Westminster DE 6-3 210 99 David Jenkins Bolsa Grande DL 6-4 225