Doty, McMurdo Shine Brightest in North All-Star Win
Note: Article to run in the June 10th Bucks County Herald
DOYLESTOWN – The 34th annual Bob Sands Lions All-Star Football Classic took place on Saturday night at War Memorial Field in Doylestown. Among those stars, Mike Doty was the Supernova.
“I’m real excited,” stated Doty- the North’s MVP and Maine recruit- after the game. “This starts off on a good foot with Maine. Hopefully I can get to college and do well; do good things in college.”
12 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns- against Bucks County’s best players- will cause Doting on Doty. The 6’3” wide receiver from C.B. South caught everything but a head cold.
“I just wanted to come out and have fun with the guys,” said Doty. “We’ve had fun the last two weeks. (North) Coach Devlin called the plays and we just ran them. We have a good receiving corps that got me open. Everyone did a great job.”
The aerial display sparked the North to a 16-7 win. The victory stops a run of six South wins in the last seven years and extends the North’s series advantage to 19-12-3.
C.B. East tailback Devon Passman- the North’s leading rusher with 56 yards on nine carries- opened the game with a nifty kickoff return to the North 35. Driving into South territory, Doty made a circus catch on a tipped bomb pass, giving North the ball at the South 14.
A one handed Doty touchdown catch was called back for a holding penalty four plays later. No matter. Archbishop Wood’s Sean McCartney (9 for 12, 128 yards) found Doty in the end zone on a crossing route, giving North a 7-0 lead.
Pennsbury’s Jacob Allen fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 2, burst through a hole on right side and scampered all the way to the North 30. But Truman quarterback Terry Walker was stuffed on a subsequent fourth and one, giving North the ball back at the 10.
North launched an impressive drive, moving 74 yards in seven plays. Pennridge quarterback Brad Herrmann (10 carries for 27 yards) found Doty on a 26 yard pass play. Council Rock South’s Dave Damirgian killed the drive by coming off of the right edge for consecutive sacks of Herrmann. It forced a 48 yard field goal try, which fell short.
Three plays into South’s next drive- the most critical of which was a defensive hold that nullified C.B. East’s Chris Urban’s sack, Conwell Egan’s Matt Della-Croce threw a long pass to Pennsbury’s Steve Marck. Marck, a Miami Ohio signee, caught it at the 18, shed a tackle and burst in for the score to tie it at 7 with 8:48 in the second quarter.
North sputtered on their subsequent drive, a weak three and out. McCartney then booted a beautiful roll-out punt that Doty downed at the South one.
Enter C.B. West’s Matt McMurdo who was arguably the game’s defensive MVP. McMurdo may want to major in Safety Engineering when he matriculates at Salisbury State next fall.
Because he engineered a safety when he wrapped up Conwell Egan’s Joe Tretter on the game’s next play.
“We thought it was going to be an inside belly play,” remembered McMurdo, “but then they did that flat motion play. I stepped out, just read it and got there quick.”
South threatened late in the first half. Pennsbury’s Richie Applegate (the South’s MVP with 16 carries for 68 yards) opened the drive with a strong run. Bensalem quarterback Ron Vogelei’s 15 yard run and subsequent drawing of a late hit penalty brought the ball as deep as the North 13. Pennridge’s Matt Pattison put a big 10 yard sack on Vogelei; setting the stage for C.B. East undersized cornerback Greg Kogut to come up big.
Despite ceding seven inches and 75 pounds to Marck, Kogut broke up a Vogelei pass attempt to the big tight end on a corner route, saving a touchdown. South went right after Kogut on the same route; the Patriot this time picked off the pass.
“The first time, I knocked it down and I knew they were coming at me again,” observed Kogut. “They tried to pick on me on the same play and I came down with the pass.
“That pumped me up and got me going for the game.”
Getting the ball back with under a minute, Doty won a jump ball that went for a 39 yard play. Two more Doty catches put the ball deep in South territory; North’s last second field goal attempt was blocked.
South’s opening drive in the second half resulted in a missed field goal. Getting the ball back, Passman broke a 15 yard run. Three plays later, Herrmann hit Doty on a fourth down crossing route that gained 17 yards.
It presaged the vertical route from Herrmann to Doty three players later that resulted in a 24 yard touchdown with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter.
South had time for a last hurrah drive when they got the ball back halfway in the fourth quarter. Six straight runs gained 24 yards but also bled the clock down to nearly 2:30 minutes. Forced to pass, South turned it over on downs.
For the 79 seniors, it was a chance to play one more game of prep football. Some like Passman (East Stroudsburg) and Herrmann (Millersville) will continue at the next level. Others will not.
One of those bowing out was South head coach Van Smith, who stepped down this season after many years at Harry S Truman. The North coach- Archbishop Wood’s Steve Devlin- ended a season in which he already had a state championship game feather in his cap.
Win or lose, the game was a chance to unite senior rivals, learn from different coaches and play as a team for once in their career.
“The Bucks County Lions do a nice job bringing all of the teams together,” noted Kogut. “We had a real nice banquet also. It’s been a great experience having all of the elite players from Bucks County come together as one unit.”
McMurdo added, “The only thing that was different was the terminology. In the All-Star game, you have to have a 5-2 base defense. You can’t switch it. The defense was a little restricted but it was a lot of fun.
“I loved playing with the guys that I’ve played against all year. It’s been awesome.”
“The plays weren’t hard to learn at all,” echoed Doty. “(Coach Devlin) did a good job teaching us. He is a great coach and I’m happy to have had this experience. I wish I could have learned from him from more than just these two weeks.”
Doty is one who will play on. It is fitting that tonight C.B. South’s top wideout proved to be the Main(e) attraction…even among the all-stars.
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