For a bunch of guys who have never played football together, the North all-stars looked like a big-play machine in cruising to a 45-12 win over the South in the annual Tri-County All-Star football game at Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Stadium.
The game featured senior players from Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks County, or to be precise the Lancaster-Lebanon League plus Palmyra.
Elco quarterback Braden Bohannon earned the North MVP award with the versatility he’s shown for four years, in four sports.
He threw for two touchdowns - a 20-yarder to Hempfield’s David Almodovar-Cora (Hempfield) and 25-yarder to Cade Clancy (Manheim Township).
Bohannon also set up a couple TDs with his running (10 carries for 68 yards) and prevented a couple defensively while roaming centerfield as a safety.
Bohannon had a bases-loaded triple in Elco’s district baseball playoff win over Bishop McDevitt Thursday, and presumably is lighting somebody up on the basketball court, or the tennis court, or the ping-pong table, right now.
“It was good to practice and get to know the guys before the game,’’ Bohannon said. “That made it more fun. It felt more like a team than a typical all-star game.’’
He was far from alone in sparking the North.
Hempfield’s Tanner Hess ran for 74 yards and one touchdown, and was tested a lot at cornerback by South receivers.
“I’ve been missing football,’’ Hess said. “That’s one thing that’s been making me want college (at Shippensburg) to get here, because I’m playing in college.’’
With all that, the South actually scored first, on a three-yard run by Garden Spot QB Jesse Martin. It was a 14-12 game in the second quarter, after South QB Carson Nash (Cocalico) hit Warwick’s Adam Martin for a 40-yard score.
Martin, known more as a defensive back among the plethora of weapons at Warwick last fall, has a huge game, seven catches for 126 yards, and received the South MVP award.
But the North kept firing. Lebanon’s Isaiah Rodriguez, who started at QB for the North, has TD strikes of 47 yards, to Lebanon teammates Alex Rufe, and 52 yards to Township’s Dan Engle.
Once North has a working lead, it trusted Township’s Clancy with the rock, and he moved the ball and the chains and got the game’s final TD on a 1-yard plunge.
The North played a clean game in all aspects. It won the battle of the trenches - where interior linemen Aiden Power (Hempfield) and Jett Kelly (Elizabethtown) seemed a particular handful.
Even the North specialists, kicker Logan Shull and Nate Reed, both of Manheim Central, played big roles in driving rain.
The announced crowd was 4,574. The North was coached by Manheim Central’s Dave Hahn and his staff, and South by Warwick’s Bob Locker and his staff.