South overpowers North
Mistakes usually decide all-star football games, and the Foothills Football Classic was no different Saturday night at East Allegheny's Churchman Memorial Stadium.
The South took advantage of five North turnovers and rolled to an easy 20-0 victory in the ninth annual game.
Fumbles set up the South's first two scores, and an interception set up the third touchdown. All the scoring was done in the first half.
The North threatened first when quarterback Dennis Sellman (Woodland Hills) scrambled for 46 yards on the third play of the game to the South 20-yard line. The North got as close as the 8 before being stopped by the South.
The North never threatened to score again until late in the fourth quarter.
South struck on its second possession after Terrance Montgomery (East Allegheny) recovered a Brian Sticca fumble at the North 30.
On first down, South quarterback Greg Mroz (Greensburg Central Catholic) lofted a perfect 30-yard scoring strike to Tommy McCafferty (Thomas Jefferson) for a 6-0 lead.
McCafferty, who scored another touchdown in the second quarter, was named the game's MVP. He had 6 catches for 91 yards.
"I'm happy about winning the award," McCafferty said. "I was hoping to get it, but after I saw that they didn't score, it could have went either way."
Matt Wadsworth (Mt. Pleasant Area) set up the second score of the game early in the second quarter for the South when he sacked Sellman and forced and recovered a fumble at the North 13.
It took the South five plays to score. It was a 2-yard run by Guy Hurt (McKeesport) at the 11:10 mark. Hurt rushed for 44 yards on 11 carries, while Ryan Hicks (Thomas Jefferson) gained 63 yards on 16 carries.
Darrell Wolford II (Steel Valley) set up the South's next score when he intercepted a pass thrown by Dewey Schmitt (Derry Area) and returned it 20 yards to the North 37.
The South capitalized on the miscue when McCafferty and quarterback Peter Winovich (Thomas Jefferson) hooked up on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Winovich completed 13 of 22 passes for 125 yards.
The South's final points of the evening came with 20.7 seconds left in the first half when it was awarded a safety when punter Cory Bush (Greensburg Salem) had his knee touch down fielding a low snap.
"If we would have scored, it would have been pretty close," said North coach Jim Paul of Derry Area. "This is an all-star game; The players on both sides gave it there all."
The South threatened to score three times in the second half, but each time were turned away by the North defense.
Linebacker Anthony Matt (Jeannette) led the defensive charge for the North and earned his team's MVP honor. Matt was not around to receive his award. He was taken to the hospital to be checked for an injury.
South coach Jim Ward, as assistant coach at Clairton, let his defense protect the led in the second half.
The South's relentless pressure of Sellman and Schmitt stymied the North's offense.
Linebacker David Diggs (Duquesne), Montgomery, linebacker Anthony Guerra (Belle Vernon Area), defensive end Tony Banks (Hempfield Area), and Teron Allen (Clairton)were some of defensive players who had outstanding games for the South.
Diggs was named the South's MVP.
"I was surprised that I got it," Diggs said. "I thought McCafferty deserved the MVP honor. I'm surprised he's not going to Division I."
The South leads the all-time series 7-2.