Most Viewed Stories
Schmeltzer, North force South surrender
ANDERSON - The South ran out of options on Saturday, but Austin Schmeltzer and the North had all kinds of them.
With Orland High's Schmeltzer, one of the north state's quickest and most deceptive option quarterbacks running the offense, the North squad took the South to the woodshed for a 56-21 beatdown of historical proportions in the 35th annual Lions All-Star Game at Bob Reid Stadium in Anderson.
Not only was it the first time either side had broken the 50-point plateau, but it was also the widest margin of victory.
Schmeltzer completed 6-of-10 pass attempts for 77 yards and a TD and also ran for 81 yards and a score, that being a 71-yard scamper in the second quarter, and was named the game's MVP.
"It was an honor to be selected to play and it was a fun group - we're all close," Schmeltzer smiled. "We had so many options and so much speed, everything worked, everything clicked."
The clicking began immediately, as the North recovered Hamilton kicker Rigo Sanchez's onside kick on the opening kickoff, and punched it in on the second play from scrimmage, when Cameron Medico (Lassen) raced 32 yards to the house and a 6-0 North.
The kick was easily the shortest of Sanchez's night, as he blasted the ball for touchbacks after every North touchdown, booted every extra point, bounced a punt out-of-bounds at the 3-yard line, and came within a whisker of nailing a field-goal attempt announced as 57 yards.
Chris Collins (Shasta) took a Schmeltzer pitch 49 yards for a score, and Alex Henderson (Enterprise) made it 21-0 with a 5-yard scoring carry, still in the first quarter.
The South pushed the ball across on a 5-yard run by Albert Stevens (Paradise) in the first quarter, and while the South was done scoring for the first half, the North was just getting started.
The second quarter saw Henderson bull the ball across from a yard out, and Schmeltzer broke his TD on the keeper to make it 35-6 at the half.
Medico scored on a one-yard plunge in the third quarter, and Schmeltzer connected with Corning's Ryan Holland for a 44-yard score, making it 49-6. Holland was not quite through, either.
After Eric Ascencio (Pleasant Valley) hit Durham's Chris Craven in the flat, Craven did the rest and the end result was the South's biggest scoring play of 44 yards.
In the fourth quarter, Holland stepped in front of an Ascencio pass and did not stop until he crossed the goal line 63 yards later for the North's final score.
"I just wanted to make a few plays for my team," Holland said. "They (the South) were talking a lot, but we came out with the onside kick and set the tone."
The South capped the scoring on their final series. Curiously, despite having Pierce's Isaiah Garcia and his section-leading 2,079 yards at their disposal, the South used him sparingly and only in the second half. Garcia got five carries and picked up 47 yards, and Maxwell's Brett Cabral scored on a five-yard carry after also running for 20 yards in the drive.
The North leads the all-time series 20-14-1.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.