Covering 84 yards in seven plays with time winding down, the South scored on a razzle-dazzle call to earn a 22-16 victory, Monday, May 14, in the 50th annual Wyandotte Lions Club Senior Bowl.
The South used a mix of run and pass plays to move from its own 16-yard to the North 10 with under a minute to play.
Quarterback Gabe Simpson from Jay took the snap and handed off to Jay teammate Keng Vang. The 5-7 Vang seemed to get lost in the scrum of the offensive line as he approached.
All of a sudden, Vang elevated himself in the air and fired a strike down the middle to a wide-open Grove tight end Matt Amos for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Colcord’s Spencer Earp added the two-point conversion run with just 24 seconds showing on the clock to complete the comeback.
After a scoreless first quarter, the South grab a 6-0 lead midway through the second 10 minutes on a 1-yard TD run by offensive lineman John Culver.
The extra point attempt by Simpson was blocked with 4:41 until halftime.
A 45-yard interception return by Simpson at free safety gave the South possession at the 50-yard line.
Six straight carries by Earp netted 33 yards and two keepers by Simpson added another 16 to put the South in scoring position.
Under the guidance of hometown favorite Jordan Burney at quarterback, the North team responded with a 41-yard, six-play scoring drive of its own.
Commerce cornerback Hunter Burkybile stepped in front of an errant Simpson pass to set the North squad up at the South 41.
A 24-yard scamper by Burney, and carries of 11 and 4 yards by Wyandotte running back Roberto Bravo, the South had a first-and-goal at the North 2-yard line.
Commerce wide out Lupe Prado caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Burney on a flare pattern with a minute before halftime.
Afton’s Brian Julian scored the two-point conversion as the North grabbed an 8-6 lead.
The South team missed an opportunity to score with 37 seconds left as a nifty 45-yard run by Vang was called back on a holding penalty.
Nonetheless, Simpson hit passes of 30 yards (Salina’s Jeff Rogers) and 20 (Vang) to give the red team a first-and-goal situation at the North 10-yard line.
Colcord wide receiver Ryan Castleman caught a Simpson TD pass on a crossing route with one second showing on the clock. Simpson’s two-point conversion created a 14-8 halftime lead.
After throwing two interceptions — both to Simpson — in the first half, Burney needed only five plays to guide the North 82 yards in the third quarter to regain the lead.
Completing passes of 27 yards to Commerce wide out Trevor Browning and 8 yards to Prado, Burney found Prado open in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard TD pass.
Julian added the two-point conversion run with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter for a precarious 16-14 North lead.
Prado was recipient of the North’s most valuable player award after catching four passes for 44 yards and two TDs. He returned a kickoff 11 yards while making four solo tackles and five assists as a cornerback.
Bravo led the North rushing attack with 42 yards on seven carries, Burney had 40 yards on five attempts, Julian contributed 15 yards on eight carries, Browning added six yards on one carry, Afton’s Brett Hollon gained three yards on one attempt and Vinita’s Lester Ramsey lost 3 yards on his only carry.
Simpson earned the most valuable player accolade for the South team by rushing for 40 yards on six carries. He completed 8 of 18 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown with one interception.