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South escapes North 44-34 in the Varischetti All Star Game

Tagged under: All-Stars, District 9, Game Photos, Gameday Hub, News

| July 1, 2023

Yesterday I made the 4-hour plus drive to watch the Annual Varischetti All-Star Game. This is my third time doing this. The game was played in Brockway, Pennsylvania.

The crowd was of a decent size for an All-Star game, and at times they got loud and often excitable. Overall, the play was clean and very hard-hitting.

Facing a fourth and seven early in the contest, Tyler Albright (Keystone) pulled in a pass to move the chains for the South. A 15-yard catch by Ashton Rex (Central Clarion) helped set up a 7-yard touchdown from Zeke Bennett (Punxutawney), after Peyton Hetrick (Punxutawney) With his point after the kick, the South had a 7-0 lead with 7:30 left in the opening quarter.

The highlight of the ensuing drive for the North came when Drew Evens (Port Allegany) found Landon Darr (Kane) on fourth down for a 10-yard catch that moved the chains. From there, the South would make quick work of the North’s offense. After getting the ball back, the South needed only 3 plays to go 63 yards for their next score, which came on a 57-yard touchdown catch and run from Micah Rupp (Karns City), making this a 14-0 game. Just nine seconds later, a pick-six by Albright from 36 yards out made this a 21-0 game.

Evens would find Logan Mosier (St. Marys) for a much-needed 57-yard gain to help set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Carter Chadsey (St. Marys), making this a 21-6 game with 8:13 left in the half. A 23-yard catch by Aiden Ortz (Redbank Valley) gave the South a first and goal from the five, but they would be forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Hetrick as time expired in the first half, making the score 24-6.

Mickey Card (Union/AC Valley) picked up a fumble after the North looked to have a nice gain after a catch; he would return the fumble 48 yards, taking it all the way down to the North’s 17-yard line. A nice trick play saw Rex throw a touchdown pass to Eric Booher (Karns City), making this a 31-6 score. A 38-yard throw from Evens to Mosier got the North rolling, then a tackle-breaking run from Blain Moses (Port Allegany) totaled 13 yards to help set up an 8-yard touchdown catch by Ricky Zampogna (Kane). A two-point run by Evens would make this a 31-14 game with 7:52 remaining in the third. Two final big plays for the South would bring the quarter to a close. First, Michael Rupp made the PAFOOTBALLNEWS hit of the game when he did his best Dick Butkus imitation, and nailed Dylan Hanna (Brockway) on a punt return. Then it was an interception by Nate Garing (Karns City).

The South would get a 34-yard run by Bennett to set up a 26-yard touchdown catch by Rupp, who again had easily gotten behind the closest defender, making this a 37-14 game as the point after the kick looked to be blocked by David Anderson (Elk County). The North never showed any quit, and their ensuing drive put this on display in a big way, as they went 48 yards in 7 plays, with the touchdown being scored by a 3-yard run from Zampogna. After a two-point run from Moses, we had a 37-22 lead with 4:57 left. The South would use a 40-yard catch from Cooper Coyl (Karns City) on a nicely thrown pass from Booher to set up a 1-yard run by Cole Bish (Redbank Valley), making this a 44-22 score.

The North would get the final two scores of the game; the first came on a 25-yard catch from Darr, and then as the game ended, Mosier came up with the football on the kickoff, and he rumbled and stumbled for the scope and score to give us the 44-34 final.

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