South gets win in MAIS All-Star game, 3-2
CLINTON — In what South All-Star assistant coach David Wright said was the lowest-scoring All-Star game in MPSA/MAIS history, the South All-Stars held on for a 3-2 win over the North All-Stars Friday afternoon at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The South All-Stars scored their only points on a field goal late in the first half and the North All-Stars recorded a safety in the second half. On a cold, rainy, windy day for football, just holding on to the football at times was a chore for both teams.
“It was a barnburner. We lit up the scoreboard,” Wright, head coach at Wilkinson County Christian Academy, said jokingly. “I had a great time. It was a great way to end the football season, being able to coach them on and off the field.”
South All-Stars head coach David King, head football coach at Adams County Christian School, made sure that the 10 local and area players got in some playing time. Tyler Radley of WCCA played defensive lineman, and Wright said Radley had the play of the game with the North All-Stars in possession of the ball late in the contest.
“He had a sack with about four minutes left in the game on 3rd down and six. It was a four-yard sack. It put us at a good advantage,” Wright said.
Wright noted that King did an outstanding job keeping the players calm, cool and relaxed despite not coming up with more points when they got inside the North 20-yard line.
Wright added that Radley came in for run-blocking on the offensive line and that his blocking helped Trinity Episcopal’s Michael Whitley run to inside the North 10-yard line. That possession ended in the field goal.
“The Centreville (Academy) boys, (Brandon) Arnett and (Colby) Shaw, were on the punt-block team. They both blocked a punt. We blocked three punts on the night,” Wright said.
Brandon Ross had what Wright said was the big play early on in the game when he made a tackle on a North team running back and that set the tone for the South defense in the first half. Wright also said Trinity’s Caleb Cross was the most physical player on the field and Saints quarterback Michael Whitley’s leadership did not go unnoticed on offense and defense.
“Caleb probably led the team in tackles. He was just a ball hawk,” Wright said. “Michael played several possessions at safety and quarterback. He had several pass break-ups. He had a decleater when he put a Glenbrook receiver on his back. Special teams played a big role in the game. We had twice as many yards as the North team had.”
Kofi Bieniemy of Cenla Christian Academy was named Offensive Most Valuable Player for the South team, and Josh Samander of Jackson Preparatory School was named Defensive MVP for the South team.
“It was a pleasure to coach the boys,” Wright said. “It wasn’t just an exhibition game for the boys. For some, it was their last game.”
Efforts to reach coach King were unsuccessful.