Polk All-Stars Overcome Glitches to Help South Defeat North, 25-14
Thu. December 20, 2012 at 5:59 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
Auburndale's Lucien Menard (76) of the South All-Stars tackles Leroy Berry (21) for the North during the North-South All-Star Football Classic at Fireman's Field in Sebring on Wednesday. (Photo by SCOTT WHEELER | THE LEDGER )
By SOLANGE REYNER
SEBRING | The South All-Stars, a group consisting of nine Polk County football players, beat the North All-Stars, 25-14 Wednesday night at the 58th Annual FACA All-Star game at Sebring Fireman's Field.
But a lot of things went wrong before the game and during it for some of the county players competing. There were wardrobe malfunctions, like the very tight helmet Lucien Menard, a defensive lineman for Auburndale, wore for the game.
It was a small (his whole face was pushed up against the facemask) and he wears a large.
"It's the only thing they had in the locker room, so I grabbed it," Menard said.
His jersey also read "Lucien" as his last name.
"I was a late addition so a lot of things were done last minute," said the defensive tackle who helped limit the North All Stars to less than 175 yards of total offense.
Another issue was the slick field, likely caused by a mist that hung over the field and sat there all night.
"It was like baby oil," said Bobby Leath, Lake Wales' large offensive lineman. "I kept trying to plant and then kept slipping."
South coach Rod Shafer's game plan wasn't working right, either, at the start.
He was running a veer offense (which is what he runs at Lake Wales), and something Winter Haven running back Adam Lane had trouble getting adjusted to.
"It's not like a zone where you can cut back and that's where I do better," Lane, a Florida commit, said. "But I got used to it as the game went along."
Then there was the haunted hotel.
"They said someone got killed in the hotel we were staying at," Lane said. "And I know it's true because I saw it on one of those ghostbuster TV shows."
Despite the nuances and distractions, Polk County players fared well at the game, particularly Lake Gibson receiver Eric Carter. He caught four passes for 56 yards, one a 39-yarder he hauled in over his right shoulder with a defender on his back.
"It was a little discombobulated at first but we all came together and played well," Leath said.
Other participants from Polk were Lakeland's Jalen Stevenson, Ridge Community's Shykeem Pitts, Fort Meade's Devin McCalebb, Lake Gibson's Tyler Brown and George Jenkins' Jon Liptak.
Touchdowns for the South squad were scored by East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo and Fort Myers receiver TJ Douglas. Charlotte kicker Austin Taylor scored the remainder of the points on field goals, one a 46-yarder.
For the North, Kissimmee Osceola's Stafon McCray and Warner Christian's Bentlee Critcher scored. Tampa Bay Tech's Richard Benjamin Jr., a Lousiville commit, had three interceptions. He was the South MVP.
Wekiva's Terrance Ross was the North MVP.