South Edges North 9-7 to Win 2023 D4 UPMC All-Star Game
By: Ed Weaver / June 24, 2023 / Photo: Brett Crossley/Northcentralpa.com
Danville's Carson Persing caught the go-ahead pass from Shamokin's Brett Nye in overtime to give the South a 9-7 win over the North in the 2023 D4 UPMC North-South All-Star Game at Williamsport's STA Stadium on Friday, June 23.
After the game ended regulation in a 7-7 tie, a first for the D4 UPMC All-Star Game, the South had the first crack at taking the overtime victory. The North managed to keep the South out of the end zone in four plays before getting their shot at winning, however a holding penalty and 6-yard loss put the North back at the South 24. Facing 3rd and long, Jersey Shore's Brady Jordan scrambled and turned a would-be loss into a 20-yard gain down to the South 4, setting up a 4th and goal. Jordan, however, was stopped for a loss on the next play by the South defense.
The game then went into sudden death, with both teams getting a max of two attempts to run two-point conversions from the 3-yard line. The North had the first chance, but Canton's Weston Bellows was stopped short of the goal line. On the South's chance, Nye found Persing open for the game-winner.
Prior to overtime the North struck first in the game's opening quarter on a 71-yard pass from Bellows to Jersey Shore's Kooper Peacock, putting the North up 7-0 following the extra point of Jersey Shore's Breck Miller with 5:25 remaining. The South tied the game up later in the 2nd quarter with 7:09 remaining in the half as Nye connected with Danville's Mason Raup on an 8-yard pass. Persing kicked the extra point, knotting the game at 7-all.
Persing, the Russ Manney Most Outstanding Player recipient, led all receivers with 11 catches for 138 yards. Shamokin's Ryder Zulkowski also caught 5 passes for 65 yards, and Selinsgrove's Nick Rice hauled in 3 catches for 11 yards. Nye, who claimed the Jazz Diminick South Offensive Player of the Game award, finished 17-for-33 for 175 yards and a touchdown while Hughesville's Luke Kaiser completed 5-of-10 passes for 63 yards. Shikellamy's Isaac Schaeffer-Neitz rushed 13 times for 30 yards and CMVT's Toby Zajac carried the ball 9 times for 12 yards.
For the North, Bellows finished 6-of-13 through the air for 87 yards and a touchdown, and also led the team with 68 yards on 7 carries. Jordan finished 4-for-9 for 52 yards and carried the ball 8 times for 18 yards. Williamsport's Nasir Hennigan rushed 5 times for 29 yards, and Canton's Riley Parker ran 5 times for 28 yards. Peacock, the Ken Robbins North Offensive Player of the Game, caught 4 passes for 122 yards and a score. North Penn-Mansfield's Sam Lawrence also added a reception for 20 yards.
Mifflinburg's Lucas Whittaker, the Bill Scott South Defensive Player of the Game winner, made 6 tackles while Central Columbia's Landon Dietterick added 5 stops. CMVT's Shane Tomlinson also pulled in an interception that prevented a potential North touchdown.
Parker and Wellsboro's Joe Brown led the North defensive unit with 5 tackles each and Canton's Austin Allen and Wellsboro's Cameron Brought made 4 tackles each. Allen also came up with an interception, along with Montoursville's Corbin Frey, the Ray Raffin North Defensive Player of the Game.