The only penalty of the game against the North proved to be the difference in the 22nd annual Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic Friday night before a crowd of 3,128 at San Diego Mesa College.
It was a pass interference call at the goal line midway through the fourth quarter that set up the 3-yard game-winning touchdown run by Lincoln’s Isaac Smith on a fourth-down play with 6:37 remaining.
The South’s 14-10 triumph featured only two passing touchdowns, which did not take South All-Star offensive coordinator David Beezer by surprise.
“This isn’t an offense you put in in two weeks (nine practices),” said Beezer, whose offense averaged more than 45 points per game for the San Diego Section Division V champion Christian High Patriots. “A lot of these kids came out of Wing-T offenses. That’s why we had so much fun in practice.”
Local graduated senior athletes showcased their talents for the last time in a high school setting. This is the longest, continuously running football game in the state of California, pitting North County schools roughly north of state Route 56 against the South, East and City schools.
The longest rushing play in the opening half was for 8 yards by Valley Center’s Garrett Fiehler. Tre Roberts of Morse galloped for 22 yards in the third period for the South.
To be sure, the game was dominated by the defenses, which is not unusual for all-star games such as this.
The North took a 10-7 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Torrey Pines’ Jack Mitchell with 7:20 left in the third quarter.
Both teams scored in the opening half. After a scoreless first quarter Eastlake’s Josh Palet connected with Kearny’s Shawn Boose on a deep post covering 64 yards.
The North countered on a nifty play by Westview quarterback Eric Beagle, who broke through a surge of South defenders to fire a 20-yard touchdown pass to Escondido’s Sam Browning to tie it 7-7.
Defensive lineman Ben Moa of Kearny (four tackles, two sacks) was selected the South MVP. Linebacker Jason Snyder of Westview was tabbed the MVP for the North.
“I wasn’t really expecting to win any awards,” Moa said. “I was just actually excited to come out and hit some people. This wasn’t really my award — it was a complete team award.”
Three of the coaches on the sidelines — Tim Medlock and Travis Lerma for the North and Kyle McComb for the South — participated as players in the Spanos Classic in the past.
•?The North was not charged with a penalty in the first three quarters. The South was whistled for only five during that stretch.
•?The South won last year 27-7 and has won five of the last seven years.