JOHNSTOWN — While the South offense put up 44 points, it was the South defense that stood out Friday in the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star football game at Greater Johnstown High School's Trojan Stadium.
The defense allowed just six points to a North squad that was as big or bigger across the line of scrimmage.
"Our kids are really talented athletes," co-head coach Brandon Bailey said. "I think we were really fast out there on the field. We were tough to go up against in practice all week offensively. Everybody took turns throughout the night making a big play. The defensive linemen were tracking those quarterbacks down."
Seven dropped passes by the North receivers and a couple of penalties didn't help head coach Ernie Fetzer's offense.
"We dropped two early first downs and one in the end zone," he said. "We dropped a two-point conversion. We dropped couple late first downs. That changed the way they called things and the way we called things. We had to work hard and struggled to get what we needed. They could just score at will."
Windber's Colin Bryan got the South on the board in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run up the middle to cap a 13-play drive. The two-point play failed for a 6-0 lead with 5:12 remaining.
The South made the North pay for a turnover in the second. Stefan Moreau recovered a fumble that set up Rockwood's Ben Miller tossing a 76-yard touchdown completion to Bishop McCort's Jerqual Wilson on the first play of the possession. Miller hit Richland's Zach Hanley with a 2-point conversion pass. The South led 14-0.
The North answered on the ensuing possession when Anthony Unger just got inside the left pylon from eight yards out with 9:37 left in the second. The 2-point pass play failed for a 14-6 score.
South quarterback, and Johnstown standout, Gervon Simon drove his team down the field in nine plays to counter the North scoring drive. Simon scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns on a 4-yard run up the middle. Hanley again caught the 2-point play to give his team a 22-6 advantage.
Simon scored his second TD of the game in the third when he scampered in from 2-yards out. The South used 2:10 off the clock on the seven-play drive.