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December 9-11 2021 Scoreboard

The South Wins the 6th Annual Frank Varischetti All-Star Game

Written by: on Saturday, June 26th, 2021


Led by two all-state quarterbacks, a 6’5” 250-pound tight end, and a tenacious defense the South rose up in the second half to defeat the North 14-12 in a colossal battle royale.  The 6th annual Frank Varischetti All-Star Game held in Brockway was one of the better all-star games anyone will see, as it had big plays offensively and defensively, momentum swings, and the uncertainty of a winner until the very end.

The contest was a tale of two halves with the North invading Southern territory three times in each half, only scoring on two of the penetrations and those being in the opening half to take a 12-0 lead into intermission.  The Northern defense played lights out holding the South’s offense to a measly 57 total yards during the first two quarters.  A big part of that effort was due to the North’s defensive player of the game, Smethport’s Braedon Johnson, who made some nice open field tackles and locked down his man on passes.

That all changed in the second half when the South started running some curl routes with their big tight end, Nathan Waltman of Karns City, who was the offensive MVP for the South by catching 5 passes for 63 yards, a two-point conversion, and the game winning touchdown.  Interestingly, Waltman caught three third down passes that resulted in first downs including his TD, while the team only converted four third downs all night out of fifteen attempts.  All of the third down conversions were in the second half.

A recap of the scoring shows the North getting into the endzone twice in the second stanza.  The first score was when Zuke Smith found Mitchell Reiter of St. Marys for a 17-yard scoring strike two plays into the quarter.  Smith, who played for the Kane Wolves, was the Northern offensive MVP with 66 yards passing and his game high 60 yards rushing on only four carries.  Later, with 5:44 remaining in the half, Ridgway’s Ben Briggs found fellow Elker Dominic Cherry for an eleven-yard score.  Both times the two-point conversion failed, but the Northerners carried that 12-0 lead well into the third quarter.

That’s when South put together a 7-play 70-yard drive to finally get on the board with 3:06 left in the third.  Dale Kot of DuBois made a nice snag in the end zone of a Jack Krug (Brookville) toss.  Krug then hit Waltman for two points and the South’s lead was down to 12-8.  The North tried to retake the momentum as they returned the kickoff to midfield, but fumbled the ball on first down and Kobe Bonanno of Redbank Valley recovered at the North 44.  Bonanno was the South’s defensive player of the game.  Central Clarion’s Calvin German found Waltman on a third and three from the 23 for what turned out to be the game winning score with 33 ticks left in the third.  The subsequent two-point try failed, but the South had their first lead of the game, 14-12.

From there, the Southern defensive unit came up huge stopping the North twice in succession deep in South territory.  The first stop came with under five minutes remaining on a fourth and one situation at the 23.  The determined defense stuffed the Northern runner for a yard loss.  The second time came with under two minutes to go.  Facing a second and five at the ten, the South pressured the North’s quarterback into two incompletions before sacking him on fourth down to preserve the win.

Notes, quotes, and other game highlights: Blane Gold, Redbank Valley’s head coach was the coach of the South and had this to say after the game, “obviously a tale of two halves, our defense did a tremendous job.  The kid from Kane did a tremendous job breaking our contain and making some things happen with his feet.  We got two all-state quarterbacks, to install an offense in a week is really challenging, so we basically said let’s put the ball in their hands and do a little bit of backyard football.”  Gold added, “the Varischettis run a class act (all-star) program.”

Port Allegany’s head coach, Justin Bienkowski said, “It was awesome to coach in this game and personally very gratifying.  I’m super proud of how our kids handled adversity tonight.  That is the highlight of my night.”  He was referring to a blindside hit on Braedon Johnson at the end of the first half that resulted in an undisclosed injury and left the North without his services for the second half.  “Hands down!  Braedon is a game changer, a class human being who happens to be a heck of an athlete,” said Bienkowski when asked if not having Johnson for the second half made a difference.

An unusual play occurred when the South attempted a pooch kick and it was blocked by their own player.  The North only converted 3 of 10 third down attempts.  The North fumbled the ball five times only losing one, but that one led to the game winning touchdown.  The only turnover the South had was an interception where Ethan Smith of Otto-Eldred made a nice return of 34 yards to give his team a shot at retaking the lead late in the fourth quarter.

The North outgained the South in total yards 204 to 197.  Of those total yards, the North had 149 yards passing and the South had 154 throwing the ball.  The South had 8 penalties for 75 yards, while the North had 9 penalties for 81 yards.  Krug was the South’s leading rusher with 26 yards.  He threw for 69 yards and also caught a pass.

With July 4th coming up and this game being the opening act to the big week long celebration Brockway has commemorating our nation’s birthday, the jersey theme was red, white, and blue.  The North donned the blue and white uniforms, while the South wore red and white jerseys.



South 14 North 12 2021 Frank Varischetti All Star Game Brockway, Pa

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