Manheim Central’s Royer, Elco’s Horst provide the scoring in 14-7 defeat of South
On a weekend most people think of going to the swimming pool or cooking out, 70 athletes from Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties met at Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Stadium on Saturday night to play a football game — yes, a football game.
Saturday marked the 16th annual Tri-County All-Star Football Game. Coming into the contest, the South squad had notched eight wins, while the North had been victorious seven times.
When the final horn blew, the North had evened the all-time series with a come-from-behind, 14-7 win.
“It has been a great experience coaching these young men,” said North coach Bill McDonald, who coaches Elizabethtown in the regular season. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of players. They kept in touch if they had to miss a practice, and throughout the entire process, they have been very respectful.”
The game got off to a slow start, with both teams failing to put any points on the board in the first quarter. The North did have a chance when Ephrata’s Alex Rummel attempted a 37-yard field goal, but his kick was off the mark.
The South, guided by Conestoga Valley’s Gerald Novak, mounted a long, sustained drive early in the second quarter, aided by a pass interference call on the North. However, the chance ended as Warwick’s Will Mobley missed a 27-yard field goal attempt to keep the game scoreless with 6:21 remaining in the half.
On the South’s next offensive possession, however, Warwick quarterback Tyler Trimarchi finally connected with Garden Spot’s Joe Craver on a 24-yard strike to put the South up 7-0 with 2:01 left in the first half.
But the lead didn’t last long.
On the North’s next possession, Elco’s Kyle Knight hooked up with Manheim Central’s Gunnar Royer for a 21-yard touchdown to even the score at 7-7 with 1:13 left in the half.
Royer was also everywhere on defense Saturday, picking up a sack early in the contest to force a punt.
On its opening drive on the second half, the North capitalized on a roughing the passer penalty, and four plays later Elco’s Tyler Horst finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to put his squad up 14-7.
That score, along with the North’s stingy defense, held the South in check the rest of the game.
“Everyone knows I like offense,” McDonald said, “but tonight it was the defense that got the job done.”
For the game, Trimarchi finished 7 for 15 for 131 yards and the touchdown pass to lead the South, while Knight led the North, going 2 for 5 for 57 yards the TD pass to Royer.
The North had a total of 87 yards on the ground and 66 in the air. Meanwhile, the South rushed for 109 yards on 31 carries and passed for 153 yards.
“You couldn’t ask for anything better,” Royer said. “To play your last high school game in front of your fans and in an All-Star game and win. It was great.”
Royer’s Manheim Central teammate Kody Kegarise agreed: “The student section was into the game. It seemed exactly like a regular-season game.”