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Linemen told to rush the passer

07/08/2014, 10:23am PDT
By John Maffei

Badillo, Wright hope to provide pressure for the North in Alex Spanos All-Star Classic

Brandon Badillo (left) and Hayden Wright hope to pressure the passer for the North squad. Don Boomer photo

What: North vs. South in 24th annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic
Who: Top graduated seniors from the 2013 season
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: San Diego Mesa College
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 juniors
Last year: South won 41-7


ESCONDIDO — The defensive linemen for the North squad in Friday’s 24th annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic football game at San Diego Mesa College have been told to “pin your ears back and get to the quarterback.”

“I know this is an All-Star game. I know we’re facing a great quarterback, a guy who threw for a ton of yards, who throws the ball almost every down, but being told your No. 1 priority is to put pressure on the quarterback is music to a defensive lineman’s ears,” said North defensive tackle Brandon Badillo, who played at Oceanside High and will play next season at Palomar College.

Badillo’s task, along with his teammates, is to get to South quarterbacks Anthony Lawrence and Hunter Correll.

Lawrence, the Grossmont High product who is headed for USD, is the most-prolific passer in San Diego Section football history.

Last season, Lawrence completed 228 of 346 passes for 3,297 yards. He threw 41 touchdown passes with only eight interceptions.

His three-year varsity totals read: 691 completions in 1,099 attempts for 9,079 yards, 36 interceptions and 96 TDs.

“If the South runs 60 plays in the game, I bet they throw it 50,” said North head coach Tony Corley, who led San Pasqual to a 12-1 record last season.

“So we’ve loaded up on defensive linemen.

“We’ll rotate guys in and tell them to get after the passer.”

In addition to Badillo, the North’s defensive linemen include Austin Alualu (Rancho Bernardo), Michael Andrade (San Pasqual), Nick Brown (Westview), Jalene Golston (Oceanside), Sam Lee (San Pasqual), Tony Pineda (Oceanside), Rafael Sangines (Oceanside), T-Bone Williams (Ramona) and Hayden Wright (San Pasqual).

“The worst thing a coach can tell a defensive lineman is to stay home and play catch,” said Wright, who will play next season at Whittier College. “No one wants to take on an offensive tackle and try and catch a running back coming through the line.

“Hardly any of us played Grossmont. You don’t put up numbers like Lawrence has without being really good.

“Playing him will be a challenge, but it should be a lot of fun, too.”

Lawrence will also have his top receiver from Grossmont — Christian Brooks, who caught 92 passes for 1,250 yards.

“The coaches have singled out Brandon and I as leaders,” Wright said. “With as many good guys as we have on this team, that’s not something we don’t take lightly.

“We’re representing ourselves, our schools and the North. We don’t want to lose.”

Badillo pointed out that nearly every player in Friday’s game was in the playoffs — and lost his last high school contest.

“Losing didn’t sit well with me then,” Badillo said of a San Diego Section Open Division title game loss to Mission Hills.

“I’m looking at this game as another chance to end my high school career on a winning note.

“We all want to go out winners.”


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