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Allegretto’s 3 TDs Helps the North Win the 7th Annual Frank Varischetti All-Star Game (Burdick Gallery)

Written by: on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

 

Dom Allegretto of Ridgway scored three times (Paul Burdick photo)

Video Highlights linked below

On a balmy night in Brockway when Dom Allegretto of Ridgway returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to put his team on the scoreboard, he was ecstatic.  A few seconds later he was disheartened when it was nullified by a penalty.  With five and a half minutes remaining in the half he did it again, returning a punt 42 yards for the touchdown lifting the North squad into a tie with the South after Noah Lent (Smethport) booted the PAT.  Allegretto followed that up with a two-yard run with under two minutes left before intermission.  Lent’s point after gave the North their first lead of the game at 14-7, a lead they held going into the third quarter.

 

The South, who many thought was the favorite in the 7th Frank Varischetti All-Star Game, had scored on their first possession in the first quarter on a beautiful 37-yard strike from Bryson Bain to Marquese Gardlock.  Nick Cosper of Keystone connected on the PAT to put the South up 7-0.  Bain and Gardlock were teammates at Redbank Valley, the PIAA state runner-up in Class A this past fall.  The same combination hooked up for a 56-yard touchdown the next time the South had the ball, but that TD was called back because of a penalty.  After that the South struggled to move the ball the rest of the half garnering only 52 yards in their last 5 possessions of the opening half.  Bain ended the game with 175 yards passing.

Allegretto put the North on top 21-7 at the 5:10 mark of the third period by scoring touchdown number three on a four-yard run.  “It was crazy fun to play this game and I’d do it over 100 times,” he stated.  Allegretto was rewarded for his three-touchdown performance by being named the North’s Offensive MVP.  “I may carry this award, but it is definitely a team award as I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.  The first couple of practices we had was weird playing with guys that you played against and didn’t like, but I found out they weren’t as bad as I thought they were.  I know they probably felt the same about me too.”

 

The South’s first second half possession fizzled out at the North’s 20.  In the fourth quarter they scored and got the ball to the inch line on the same possession only to have them both nullified by penalties.  After a short punt put them in good field possession, the South scored with 5:27 left when Luke Garing of Karns City caught the quarterback’s mishandle of the snap out of mid air and found his way into the end zone.  The extra point was missed and the South trailed 21-13.  They would not get the ball back.  They tried an onside kick that the North recovered.  Then the North made 2 first downs to run the clock down under two and a half minutes before lightning strikes across the night sky ended the game about 145 seconds prematurely.

Garing was the South’s offensive MVP by scoring a touchdown and rushing for 108 yards on 17 carries.  “A couple of plays didn’t go our way, but other than that we had a really good game.  It was awesome that your rivals could be your friends for a game,” he stated.  When asked if he made some new friends, Garing replied with an enthusiastic “oh yeah.”  Christian Kirk of DuBois was the South’s defensive MVP in making some key stops and having the game’s only interception which thwarted a North drive deep in South territory.

Hunter Wall of Ridgway was the North defensive MVP with numerous tackles and a fumble recovery.  Asked his thoughts on the game, he said, “it was an unreal experience.  Ever since I was little, I dreamed about this.  I made some new friends for sure.”

Winning coach, Chris Dworek, of St. Marys made this comment, “The guys up front were awesome.  It was so much fun for me to mix these kids together and do some things.  You coach against some and you read about others in the paper and then I get to coach them.  It was fun.  So, when I go up north fishing, I’m going to look for those kids from Smethport, from Port Allegany, and Bucktail.  That’s what is cool meeting kids and getting to know them.  I’ll remember this forever.”

The North was led offensively, not by Allegretto, but by his Elker teammate Cam Marciniak who had 113 yards rushing on 11 carries.  Christian Coudriet threw for 104 yards for the North.  Noah Lent alternated the QB chores with Coudriet and ended up rushing for 60 yards.

The North now leads the series 5-2.  The North is mostly made up of the old Allegheny Mountain League teams and the South is mostly teams from the old Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference.

Much thanks goes out to the Frank Varischetti Foundation, the Brockway Area School District, and the Brockway Gridiron Association for putting together a great all-star game.  Before the game local businesses gave out $1,000 scholarships.  In 7 years over $100,000 has been given in scholarship money to various players.

PAUL BURDICK GALLERY

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