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CL defense slows Schuylkill

All Star football games are typically high-scoring affairs that feature big plays on the offensive side of the ball.

But Sunday afternoon’s Colonial-Schuylkill All Star Game took on a much different identity.

The theme of this one was defense, which the Colonial League stars relied on to shut out the Schuylkill League stars in the second half and come away with a 14-12 victory.

“This was just fun. This was my first all star game as a head coach, and we were able to have a few practices and build some friendships. The kids got along great the whole time,” said Colonial head coach Brady Mutton. “We knew coming in that we were going to be really strong on the defensive side of the ball. We have some studs there on our defensive side.

“Both sides were very competitive, and both defenses played very well. You don’t see many 14-12 all star games.”

The Schuylkill All Stars did most of their damage offensively early in the game - scoring both of their touchdowns in the first quarter.

A spectacular 79-yard touchdown catch by Williams Valley wide receiver Brady Evans, and a short yardage score from North Schuylkill’s hard-running tailback Jared Tinari had Schuylkill in control.

The Colonial’s lone score of the first half came early as well as Northern Lehigh’s Nick Frame went 61 yards to the house on a designed quarterback run.

The early offensive explosions ended there, however, as neither side scored in the second quarter and the Schuylkill team took a 12-7 lead into the half.

“This was definitely a fun game, and you could see a lot of kids out there taking this game seriously and to heart, and that’s what you like to see. These guys are football players, and most of them have been playing the game since they were little kids,” said Schuylkill head coach Sam Bonner. “There was a great competitive atmosphere out here today. It was a pleasure to coach these guys.”

The Colonial League was able to go back on top midway through the third quarter on arguably the most exciting play of the game.

Quarterback Eric Striba scrambled around the backfield to find some time and then fired the ball off his back foot to wide receiver Tyler Rizzuto at the goal line for a fantastic 40-yard pitch and catch that gave the Colonial League a 14-12 lead.

The Colonial defense would then hold the Schuylkill offense scoreless the rest of the way.

“It was an awesome game today. We had a lot of fun, and we had fun at the few practices we got in. It was a really good experience,” said Northern Lehigh’s Frame. “It was cool to play with a lot of good guys and talented guys.

“There were three other kids playing today that are going to the same college as me, which was cool as well. I think everyone really competed hard and enjoyed the game.”

COLONIAL HONORS … The Colonial Skills Player of the Game was Frame from Northern Lehigh, and the Lineman of the Game was Sheadon Carr from Palisades.

SCHUYLKILL PROPS … The Schuylkill Skills Player of the Game was Evans from Williams Valley, and the Lineman of the Game was Ian Donohue of Blue Mountain.

PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCK Salisbury's Toby Linn prepares to take down a Schuylkill League ball carrier during Sunday's all-star game.
PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCK Salisbury's Nick Beck carries the ball during the Schuylkill-Colonial League All-Star Football Game Sunday at Palmerton High School.
PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCK Salisbury's Jacob Gibbons (14) looks to make a play during the Schuylkill-Colonial League All-Star Game. Three Falcon players were selected to play in the second annual game, which was held Sunday at Palmerton High School.