MONTGOMERY – The North All-Stars posted two first-quarter touchdowns Thursday night to build a 14-0 lead in the 57th AHSAA North-South All-Star football game at Cramton Bowl. Lightning and heavy rains forced the game to be called at 8:16 of the second quarter with the North still holding that two-touchdown lead.
Quarterback Zach Cupps of Gardendale was 5-of-6 passing for 96 yards and a 51-yard touchdown pass to Sheffield wide receiver Aaron Pride to earn MVP honors for head coach Frank Tucker’s North squad. The score came at 5:19 of the first quarter and just 3 ½ minutes after Minor’s David Mitchell’s 14-yard TD run. It was Mitchell’s only run of the night. Morgan Coston of Leeds kicked both extra points.
Mitchell’s score capped a six-play, 40-yard march the North’s first possession of the game.
The South, head-coached by Theodore’s Eric Collier, drove to the North 29-yard line on its second possession of the game but McGill-Toolen quarterback Parish Chambers was sacked for a 6-yard loss back to the 35 by Leeds defensive lineman Josephus Smith. The South turned the ball over on downs at the 31.
It took just four plays for the North to score again. Cupps connected with Denzel Mooney of Gadsden City for 19 yards to midfield. Two plays later, he found Pride open down the right sideline for the 51-yard score.
The North defense limited the South to four plays on their next possession. Cupps moved the North offense from its own 15 to the South 46 before the drive stalled. Each team would get one more drive each before the lightning forced the teams to the locker room just before 8 p.m. The game was finally called an hour later as lightning continued and heavy rains began to fall.
With Sparkman quarterback Mason Edwards directing the offense, the North moved from its own 14-yard line to the South 34 – with 50 yards coming on a pass from Edwards o West Point’s Kobe Smith – when the teams were forced to leave the field. The game never was able to be resumed.
The North finished with eight first downs, 49 yards rushing on 12 carries and 163 yards passing for 212 total yards. Cupps also rushed for 10 yards on one carry and finished with 106 total yards. Edwards was 3-of-5 passing for 67 yards.
Leeds’ Smith had four tackles, including two for losses, to lead the North defense. Justin Little of Tuscaloosa County added two tackles and Blake Stidham of Hamilton was in on three stops.
The South had three first downs, had a net of zero yards on six rush attempts and completed 7-of-12 passes for 75 yards. Chambers was 3-of-6 passing for 52 yards, and Montgomery-Lee quarterback Shaquille Johnson was 4-of-6 for 23 yards. Beauregard’s Heath Senn had one catch for 44 yards, Von Street of Enterprise caught two for 17 yards and Kolby Easley of Northview, two for eight yards. Daniel Miller of Fairhope was the leading rusher with 11 yards on three carries.
Kahlil Traywick of UMS-Wright, the South MVP, had four tackles and two assists and Quantravis Kelly of Lee had two tackles and three assists for the South defense.
The South holds a 30-24-2 lead in the series that was first played in 1948. Since the game moved back to Cramton Bowl in 2011, the North and South have each won three games with the North now winning two in a row.