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South rises to defeat North 20-14 in NMHSCA 2A/3A all-star football game

The South all-stars rallied back from a 14-6 deficit Saturday to defeat the North 20-14 in a game played at Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M. The players were selected by the New Mexico High School Coaches' Association.

North quarterback Dominick Panzy was sacked in the backfield for no gain on the first play from scrimmage. He handed off to his running back Antonio Arguello who picked up two yards. On third down with 15 yards to go Panzy's pass was picked off by the Southern defense. The South took over with quarterback Sam Williams of Ruidoso High School running the offense. During the initial three downs the South only gained five yards on a keeper by Williams. The Ruidoso quarterback stood in a shotgun formation with 4th down and 11 yards to go but his offense was penalized for delaying the game. The North got the ball back after Williams threw a pass too long for his receiver down field.

North quarterback Panzy threw a touchdown pass to his receiver Paul Seaton of Hope Christian High School. The North tried for the two-point conversion but they were unsuccessful. The North led 6-0. With third down and five yards to go Southern quarterback Williams handed off to Zane Walker. The Loving High School runningback ran 67 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to tie the score at six. After an unsuccessful extra-point attempt by the South, the North started off at its own 37 yard line. The North tried a running play but it was stopped for no gain by Eric Osbourne. The North couldn't move the ball on third down and when the South got the pigskin back quarterback Matt Silva threw an incomplete pass. But his runningback Dalton Davis managed to pickup a first down on the next play.

The North's Donovan Johnson stopped Jonathan Valenzuela from gaining any yards. His teammates Antonio Arguello and Charlie Chavez stopped another Southern running play. The Southern offense picked up a first down but it was called back because of a holding penalty. On third down with 12 yards to go Silva threw a pass down field but it went through the hands of his receiver Brandon Reese. The South tried to convert on fourth down but the play was stopped. The North's Jordan Lopez caught a pass out of the backfield for a short gain. His runningback Dalan Abreu picked up a first down behind offensive lineman David Pacheco and the first quarter ended with a tie.

The second quarter began with North quarterback Dakota Swinehart connecting on a pass for 16 yards with Devon Casias. The South's Osbourne tackled Lopez after a three-yard gain. Swinehart threw a pass to his wide receiver who caught the ball but his feet were out-of-bounds just outside the end zone. Jesus Rivera kept the drive alive by catching a pass from Swinehart and picking up a first down. Then runningback Lopez took a direct snap from center and ran to the four yard line. Daniel Serrano and his Southern teammates stopped Abreu at the five yard line. But Swinehart took the snap from center and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. The product of Taos High School scored again a few minutes later when he ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the North a 14-6 lead.

The South tried to complete a pass during its next possession but Aaron Galbadon broke up the play. The North's Johnson of Texico High School stopped Arguello on a running play to force the South to punt. The North tried to add to its lead but Bryce Sandoval of Socorro High School stopped their running play for a loss. Swinehart dropped back and missed connecting with Seaton who was defended by Reese. Zane Walker took a handoff from Williams and picked up four yards at the end of the second quarter.

Southern quarterback Ray Vaiza started off the third quarter by hitting Reese with a pass inside the 30 yard line. Vaiza connected with Reese again, this time for a touchdown. Trailing by two points the South went for the two-point conversion but Cameron Harjes of Hope Christian High School stopped the play. The North led 14-12 and Lopez tried a running play for them on second down with 17 yards to go, but he was stopped by Igi Maiga. On the next play the North quarterback was being chased by a defender as he sprinted out to his right. The pressure caused him to overthrow Arguello down field.

During the South's next possession quarterback Vaiza also threw too long as he tried to hit Walker who was covered by Seaton. Two bad things happened for the South. Galbadon intercepted the Southern quarterback's throw and the South was penalized 15 yards on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct. After three unsuccessful offensive plays the North's Swinehart tried to kick a 35-yard field goal. But the kick was no good. The North got the ball back because the South could not move it. But fortunately for the South, it's defense recovered a fumble by Abreu. Williams completed a six yard pass on first down. Williams completed another pass inside the 20 yard line to Walker with 1:17 left in the third quarter. Lawrence Sena stopped the next play for no gain. Reece dropped a pass from Williams on third down with 13 yards to go. But Williams completed a pass to Sam Hale on the two yard line. The South lost two yards on the next play when Williams fumbled the snap.

On second and goal from the five yard line, Valenzuela carried the ball to the one yard line. Williams handed off to Walker who plowed into the end zone for a touchdown. The South led 18-14. The team successfully completed the two-point conversion when Walker ran into the end zone again. The North took over trailing 20-14 with 9:14 left in the game. Panzy, playing in the offensive line now, was called for moving. Swinehart completed a long pass to Casias at the South's 42 yard line. The quarterback kept the ball and ran for three more yards. But Osbourne intercepted Swinehart's next pass and the South had possession again. Silva tried to throw a lob pass to his receiver who appeared to be wide open in the middle of the field. But the pass was almost intercepted by Arguello.

Valenzuela of Silver High School picked up short yardage running to his left. Williams tossed the ball out to Walker who ran down the right side line to the North's 16 yard line. Silva came back into the game and completed a pass to Davis at the five yard line. Valenzuela carried it to the one. Silva tried to complete a slant pass over the middle to Reece but the pass was incomplete. The North went for it on fourth down and quarterback Jalen Yepa completed a pass for the first down. Swinehart completed a pass to Panzy on the right sideline. But Swinehart's next long pass down field went through Seaton's hands. Then Jeff Armijo of Silver High School interecepted Swinehart's pass intended for Seaton and the game was over.


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