Thu, Jul 18 2013 01:24 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
South County athletes made a huge impact in last Friday’s 23rd annual Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic — a 41-7 victory by the South team against the North squad.
The game, which took place at San Diego Mesa College and benefitted the High School Sports Association of San Diego County, served as a final showcase in front of family and friends for the county’s graduated seniors as they head off to their respective colleges.
“It’s an honor to play in this game — I wasn’t sure I would be selected,” said Olympian High School alum Andrell Snowden, one of 12 South County players represented on the South team’s roster
Snowden, who plans to play at Southwestern College this fall, helped set up the first touchdown of the game with a neat run deep into North territory.
Mater Dei Catholic quarterback Joseph Legerrette-Luke scored the South’s second touchdown on a five-yard run and Eastlake’s Blake Wilson caught a five-yard scoring pass in the second half to further bolster the South’s advantage on the scoreboard.
The game was finally called with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Steele Canyon’s Lonnie Tuff broke away for a 43-yard touchdown run.
Valhalla’s Ramsey Romano threw two touchdown passes, both to Norsemen teammate Kevin Mills, while 290-pound Helix lineman Amu Milo took a direct snap and scored on a six-yard run with five seconds to play before halftime to up the South’s lead to 21-0.
The 6-foot-3, 190 pound Romano, who served as the South team’s offensive captain, passed for 3,415 yards and 30 touchdowns to lead Valhalla to the semifinals of last year’s Division II football playoffs. He passed for 158 yards in last Friday’s contest to bolster the South’s parade of three signal-callers.
Mills caught scoring passes of 11 and 13 yards while Helix alum Rocky Fuga earned the South’s MVP award by making three sacks to lead the victors’ defensive effort.
Both Mills and Fuga are also ticketed to play this fall at Southwestern. SWC coach Ed Carberry called Fuga a “hitting machine.”
On one play in last Friday’s game, a hard hit by Fuga knocked off the helmet of North running back Deon Dickey of La Costa Canyon.
The South team registered five takeaways overall in the game, including interceptions by Castle Park’s Aaron Leon, Grossmont’s Trent Galkoski, Lincoln’s Ta’Jon Mondy and Point Loma’s Jamal Agnew and a fumble recovery by Patrick Henry’s Louis Olmeda.
The win was the third consecutive by the South and seventh in the last 10 meetings between the teams.
Wilson was making his second all-star appearance of his senior year after previously helping a San Diego all-star squad to a victory against an all-star team from Los Angeles in January’s Cali Classic.
Hoover QB Dionte Whitfield hit Wilson for a score early in the fourth quarter to increase the South’s lead to 34-7.
Wilson enters SWC riding the momentum of winning he Division I championship last December.
The Chula Vista Spartans led the local contingent with four all-star picks in last Friday’s game: receivers Ray Holden and Richard Walker and offensive lineman David Zavala and Ray Samuels.
“Even though Ray or Richard didn’t catch a pass in the game, they contributed with blocks,” CVHS coach Judd Rachow said. “And both David and Ray contributed up front. All four guys were deserving picks.”
Also suiting up for the victorious South team were Olympian receiver Sergio Bailey and offensive lineman Rey Tabbs, Eastlake offensive lineman Austin Ortiz and Hilltop offensive lineman Andrew Baynes.
“Strong representation by the South Bay,” Rachow said.
Holden, the school’s Male Athlete of the Year and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, is headed to Brown University while Walker will continue his football career at SWC.
Walker termed it an “honor” to be selected to the South squad.
“It felt great to be a part of that and looking back on that in the future,” he said. “It was fun to be out there and compete.”
Holden, who made 45 catches for 830 yards and eight touchdowns last season, graduated with a 4.3 grade-point average.
“It felt really cool to win both awards — I’m only one of three in the school to do that,” he said. “It was an honor.”
Holden said what he cherished the most while playing at CVHS was learning “sportsmanship in representing yourself with class.”
Walker snared 39 aerials for 506 yards and five TDs in 2012.
“I’m very excited about playing at Southwestern,” he said. “I want to go out and catch every ball that is thrown to me and help the team out with blocking assignments. I want to be a team player.”
Orange Glen’s Austin Early hit El Camino’s Arrion Howard on a 28-yard scoring pass for the North team’s lone score in the game. El Camino fullback Micah Sua rushed for 78 yards to earn North MVP honors.
Madison’s Anthony Herrera finished the game with five extra-point conversions.
Madison’s Rick Jackson coached the South team while El Camino’s Pulu Poumele coached the North team.
Joining Eastlake’s Wilson, Olympian’s Snowden and CV’s Samuels in January’s regional all-star game from South County were Otay Ranch receiver Chris Martin, Eastlake receiver Tavarus Green, Francis Parker quarterback Gabe Harrington, Calvary Christian Academy linebacker Justin Harrison, Olympian linebacker Zac Norton, Olympian offensive lineman Norris Shull III and Bonita Vista offensive lineman Steven Green.
St. Augustine’s Richard Sanchez coached the San Diego team.
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