Dorman’s Dave Gutshall didn’t want to harp on the North’s overall success in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl North Vs. South all-star game.
That didn’t stop bragging rights from returning to their seemingly normal place.
Led by three touchdowns in a span of 3:48 in the fourth quarter, the North went on to defeat its South counterparts 38-21 Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. It was the ninth time in the last 10 years the North squad has won, with only last year’s 23-0 South victory standing in the way of a double-digit streak.
“We didn’t bring that up,” said Gutshall, who was selected to coach the North. “These kids don’t know that. Both teams had athletes. It’s hard to put a finger on why it happens.”
In fact, players from Upper State schools had mentioned the dominance throughout the practice week.
They might not have known the overall record now stands at 38-26-2 in the North’s corner. But they were emphatic about making sure the bragging rights from the state’s secondary all-star game rested with the North players and coaches.
“It must be coming from the communities,” Gutshall said. “I promise you – we didn’t bring that up. It’s one of those things. They take pride up there.”
The North team got two rushing touchdowns from York tailback Ryan Moore. It also had a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown from quarterback Dre Massey (Mauldin). Linebacker Eric Boggs from Belton-Honea Path led the way on defense with six tackles, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble.
The South trailed 17-0 at halftime before scoring 21 straight points to open the second half.
Three area players participated in the game. Loris linebacker Quavon Bellamy and Georgetown linebacker Jordan Ward were joined by Conway receiver Ikeem Coles.
A fourth, Heath Gray (Myrtle Beach), was added to the roster as an alternate before he was held out of the game due to a shoulder injury.
Bellamy was third among South players in tackles with six, and he added a tackle for loss. Ward had five tackles. Coles caught one pass for six yards.
“I love playing against good competition,” Ward said. “It helps me get better and I can see where I’m at.”
Said Coles: “It’s a good experience. All the good athletes they picked come out here and enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s fun.”
Conway assistant coach Steve Hall was also selected as an assistant for the game. He spent most of his time this week with the offensive line.
Awards and honors
Each team selected two most valuable players after the game, a tradition that started in 1991 and has been used in all but two seasons since.
Massey and Blythewood linebacker Jalen Williams (six tackles, fumble recovery for a touchdown) were picked from the North team. The South went with Marlboro County linebacker Ronheem Bingham (eight tackles, two sacks, special teams touchdown) and Goose Creek receiver Jordan Barnes (five receptions, 55 yards, touchdown).
On Friday, each team also named its two captains for the game. Bingham was joined by West Ashley defensive back Bobby Ruff for the South team, while the North squad went with Byrnes quarterback Shuler Bentley and Saluda defensive lineman Cedric Herrin.
Prior to the game, the family of former Rock Hill Herald reporter Barry Byers was presented with the Keith and Tallulah Richardson Distinguished Service Award. Byers, who died in October after a lengthy battle with cancer, was the media coordinator for the game for more than a decade.
In total, Byers covered high school sports for the Herald for 30 years.
Park wins Mr. Football
At halftime of the game, the state’s Mr. Football award was presented to Stratford quarterback Jacob Park.
The senior, a University of Georgia commitment, threw for 3,665 yards and 33 touchdowns this season. He was selected over lineman Donell Stanley (Latta), running back Jae’lon Oglesby (Daniel), quarterback Mason Rudolph (Northwestern) and linebacker Christian Miller (Spring Valley).
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to pull this one out,” Park said. “… It’s a shocking feeling. I was surprised – sitting next to Mason Rudolph and Donell Stanley, I didn’t think I had much of a chance.”
All five finalists were selected to play in next week’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Stanley and Park were also named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which will be played Jan. 4 in San Antonio.
Until this year, the award was presented during a Friday night banquet. North South officials made the change in an attempt to draw more attention to the game.
N – Ryan Moore 1 run (Jon Croft Hollingsworth kick) – 5:14
N – Dre Massey 10 run (Hollingsworth kick) – 11:53
N – Hollingsworth 37 FG – 7:27
S – Tresvon Coakley 12 run (David Kennedy kick) – 5:28
S – Jordan Barned 14 rec from Will Hunter (Kennedy kick) – 1:56
S – Ronheem Bingham block punt return (Kennedy kick) – 10:46
N – Moore 3 run (Hollingsworth kick) – 6:54
N – Jalen Williams fumble return (Hollingsworth kick) – 6:36
N – Hyleck Foster 74 rec from Dre Massey (Hollingsworth kick) – 3:06