*AHSAA Press Release*
MONTGOMERY – The South struck quickly scoring touchdowns on its first two offensive plays to take an early 14-0 lead at Cramton Bowl Thursday en route to a 20-12 victory over the South in the AHSAA’s 55th North-South All-Star football game.
The South extended its lead in the series to 30 wins. The North has won 23 and teams have tied twice. The All-Star game was first played 1948.
Both South touchdowns came after North turnovers. Jestaro Reynolds of Northview High School hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryant Horn of Benjamin Russell to put the South on top 7-0 at the 9:35 mark of the first quarter.
The North turned to the Pickens County duo of quarterback Devonte’ Simon and running back Jermarcus Brown for a 47-yard pass play on its first drive. The South recovered a fumble on the next play, however, to set up the Horn-to-Reynolds connection.
Another North fumble at its own 28-yard line put the South offense on the field once again on first down, the South scored when Daphne quarterback Lane Moss found Damian Mitchell of Maplesville open for a 28-yard TD strike.
The North managed a safety three minutes later to cut the lead to 14-2.
In the second quarter, Fairhope’s John Baxter nailed the first of two field goals with a 26-yarder. He booted a North-South record 50-yard field goal late in the third quarter to give the South a 20-9 lead. The 50-yard kick broke the North-South record (48 yards) set by Sardis kicker Mike Nichols 47 years ago in the 1967 game. Baxter also kicked two extra points.
The North got its only touchdown when Dorryl “Ready” Swanigan of Marion County scored on a 4-yard run with 49 seconds left in the first half and Oneonta’ Tyler Short booted the extra point. Short kicked a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
MVP for the South was Andalusia linebacker Montel Lee. He had North-South record-tying 12 tackles, including a key stop near the goal line on the North’s final drive late in the fourth period. Lee had five tackles behind the line for 15 yards in losses and caused the first North fumble. Horn finished 6-of-8 passing for 78 yards and Morgan was 2-of-5 for 66 yards combining to finish with 144 yards and two TDs. Earnest Andrews of Fairhope netted 35 yards on 10 carries and Roderick Davis of Demopolis had 32 on seven tries.
Brown, who a single-season state record with 51 touchdowns scored last season for Class 1A state champion Pickens County, was selected North MVP. He made seven catches for 135 yards. The North passed for 186 yards with Gordo quarterback Lane Moss was 9-of-14 passing for 132 yards, and Simon was 2-of-11 for 54 yards. Moss also was the game’s leading rusher with 30 yards on nine carries including one 25-yard run. Leading tacklers for the North were John David Henderson of Arab and Exavyer Jackson of Piedmont each seven tackles. Jackson also had four stops for 15 yards in losses and was credited with the safety.
Trent Taylor of Straughn served as head coach for the South, and Keith Etheredge of Leeds was North head coach.