South sloshes to victory
Allen Moody | Highlands TodaySEBRING - There was plenty of talent on both sides of the field during the 14th annual South-Central All-Star Football Classic at Firemen's Field. But the one who made the biggest difference in the game was Mother Nature, as heavy rains throughout the game turned it into a mistake-filled encounter, which was won by the South 25-7.
Published: December 10, 2012
Published: December 10, 2012
"That's probably the wettest game I've ever been in," said Sebring's Larry Scott, who was one of six Blue Streaks to play for the Central team.
The weather, coupled with players not all that familiar with each other, made the routine plays difficult and numerous quarterback-center exchanges ended up with the ball on the ground for both teams.
It was the South team who made the fewest mistakes and that turned out to be the difference in the game.
"It's unfortunate that we had rain all night, but I think the kids had fun," said North Port coach Matt Pryer, who was head coach for the South. "I thought they played well together. Considering we had four days of practice, I thought they did a good job of playing as 11."
Frostproof's Reggie Allen gave the Central team a short-lived lead when he returned a punt for a touchdown, but the South tied the game when DeSoto's Uni Taylor recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
A mishandled punt led to a South safety and Moore Haven's Darius Cohen rambled 80 yards for a touchdown to give the South a 16-7 advantage at the half.
The Central team's turnover woes continued in the second half, as Port Charlotte's Eric Heiter and DeSoto's Laquavious Hightower intercepted passes and Charlotte's Jon Hearns recovered a fumble. Charlotte's Kameron Lockett had two fumble recoveries in the game.
The South was able to add to its lead on Cohen's second touchdown of the game with 5:11 remaining and Port Charlotte's Brion Ashley kicked a 35-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining in the contest to account for the final score.
Sebring's Mark Miranda was named Most Valuable Defensive Player from the Central squad and Avon Park quarterback Ryan Dick won one of the scholarships that is awarded each year.
Scott said it was a good experience to play in the game, beginning with practice, in which you had to be at your best when going up against some talented players.
He said it was a great way to cap off a memorable senior season, which also included being named homecoming king.
"It went way too fast," Scott said of his final year.
Sebring was also represented by Ezell Gammage, Jake Bryan, Davaris Faulk and Arthur Williams in the game. Williams will be making one more appearance at Firemen's Field when he competes in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association game on Dec. 19.
Avon Park also had Steven Roberts and Vinroy Vassell playing for the Central team, while the Green Dragons were represented by Ricky Miller, Christian Miller and Keplet Charite.
Scott said the game was a good way to get more game film to show colleges what he can do against top-notch competition.
"I want to thank God for giving me the ability to play," Scott said. "I have to thank my family and Coach (LaVaar) Scott for everything they've done for me."
Pryer said he wasn't really looking forward to the return trip home in the rain, but it was going to be a much-more enjoyable ride for him and his players after the victory.
"It's always fun to win." Pryer said. "That's why you play the game."
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