South Hits Wall and the North Wins, 25-15
Sure it was the Antelope Valley High connection of quarterback Justin Mobley and receiver Joe Manning that lit up the offense.
But it was more a victory for the little guys when the North defeated the South, 25-15, in the High Desert All-Star football game Friday night at Palmdale High.
Little is a term used loosely.
Paraclete defensive linemen Pete Cich, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, and Josh Foster (6-7, 250) teamed with Bethel Christian’s Travis Alkire (6-3, 200) to form a formidable defensive front that held the South to 44 yards rushing.
Their play overshadowed the offensive effort of Mobley and Manning, who connected eight times for 151 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown.
“Those kids from Paraclete are studs,” North Coach Jim Bauer said. “They could play for any team in this valley and that was obvious tonight.”
Cich had a second-quarter interception when he picked Camy Smith’s pass out of the air when Smith was running from Foster.
The turnover set up a field goal that gave the North a 10-0 halftime lead.
“Some of the Palmdale players were trashing us in the paper,” Cich said. “They didn’t give us any respect.”
The South took a 15-10 lead in the third quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Jason Anderson of Palmdale and a 30-yard scoring pass play from Camy Smith to Imad Rodriguez.
Manning and Mobley connected for their 39-yard score and Mobley scored from the one after a 43-yard connection with Manning one play earlier.
Mobley finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns in 11 carries and completed 13 of 19 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown.
A bigger loss for the South might have occurred early in the game when Matt Leonard of Palmdale High, one of the top defensive linemen in the nation who has a scholarship to Stanford, left the game with a back injury.
Leonard said he was chasing a ball carrier when he felt something pull in his back.
“I have no idea what happened,” Leonard said. “But I can’t stand on my left leg. The trainer said it’s a trigger point in a muscle that’s connected to the sciatic nerve. He said it was the biggest knot he’s ever seen, like the size of a softball.”