HUNTINGDON - Mifflin County's Ben Fowler celebrated with a backflip. Mount Union's Kai House, a cart wheel.
"The guys told me to," the Husky said.
That fun followed The 28th Annual Lezzer Lumber Classic all-star football game, presented by the Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Mount Union’s Tyler Scott, right, is tackled by Michael John of Philipsburg-Osceola at the Lezzer Lumber all-star game. Three players each from Mifflin County and Mount Union played for the South team, which won the game 35-28.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Mifflin County’s Cole Welham takes Beau Swales of Clearfield to the ground at the 28th annual Lezzer Lumber Classic football game in Huntingdon Friday evening.
Mifflin County and Mount Union, as members of the South team, would certainly have the last laugh following a 35-28 win over the North at War Vets Field in Huntingdon Friday night.
"We had a good week of practice together," Mifflin County's Cole Welham said. "It's definitely a lot tougher competition here with all these guys. But I thought we played just how we needed to to get a win."
The South got a big performance from Bellwood-Antis quarterback Ryan Stuby. The former Blue Devil threw for 211 yards going 13-of-15 passing. He added a 27-yard touchdown to Altoona's Rafeeq Barnes and a 55-yard score to Altoona's Dan Moyer.
With the June air climaxing the heat index, the feeling of a fall Friday night came over the boys from Mifflin County and Mount Union. In the end, it would be a punt return from the Huskies' Kirby Moist that would prove to be the difference in the outcome.
Mifflin County was represented by three players in the game along with Mount Union's three. Welham, Moist and Fowler combined for 14 tackles, two pass breakups and a sack in the game. Mount Union had House, Tyler Scott - who had a pair of catches for 22 yards - and Michael Unger.
Mifflin County coach George Miskinis was on the South staff.
Graduates of schools in Districts 6 and 9 whose coaches are members of the association are eligible.
Fowler's back flip came before he was awarded the J. Gawen Stoker Memorial Scholarship for his accolades both on and off the field. The future Juniata College attendee was certainly excited following Friday's activities.
"I thought it was great how everyone came together and did a nice job," he said. "Being a real team instead of everyone being individuals from other teams is awesome."
The scholarship honors the former Indian Valley coach, who passed away in September.
As far as the game goes, any common fan could see the the boys from each local school did their part in preserving the South's win
After the two teams traded touchdowns in the first half, the North received the ball first in the second half with the score tied at 14. Moist fielded a 32-yard punt at his own 46, cut right and was then off to the races. Unfortunately, Moist zigged when he could have zagged and was brought down at the 13. After a 41-yard return from the Mifflin County senior, the South was in business inside the redzone.
"I saw the end zone," Moist said. "The ball bounced into a perfect lane and I almost had it. The guys did a great job of blocking."
House then took it from there. The Mount Union senior rumbled his way to a touchdown to give the lead to the South for good.
"They just threw me in and the hole opened up," House said. "I banged a few guys around and got in there."
Following a three and out from the North squad, the South took a commanding lead when Stuby found Moyer for their long touchdown.
A 23-yard touchdown run from Barnes with eight seconds to play in the third put the game out of reach for the South team. But the North did all it could to say alive and try to even a 28-year series at 14 wins a piece.
Beau Swales scampered for a 70-yard touchdown to finish off the quarter to make it 35-21. Another 20-yard touchdown from Swales halfway through the final quarter got the North within seven. But it was too late.
House had three carries on the final possession for 29 yards that doomed the North squad. A 24-yard run from the Trojan on third down sent the South to victory formation and the game to the final buzzer.
"This is probably one of the best things a high school kid can experience," he said. "You're around great athletes and just having fun non stop."
Defensively, Mifflin County's trio certainly did some damage against a tough offense. Welham finished with six tackles and a sack. Fowler, who had five tackles, and Moist, who had three tackles, each had a pass break up. Fowler's was a bit more exciting.
"I was beating myself up after that for not picking it," Fowler said.
But without an interception, it was easy to find the Huskies on the field. Just look for the ball.
All six seniors that participated in the game came to a consensus as to how it feels to with their final game of their high school careers. They will each continue to better themselves as persons at the next level of their lives. But this game will always be remembered as the one where it all ended. And they won.
"This is just the way to go out as a senior," Moist said.