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Gold Rallies Back to Defeat Red On Late Touchdown in McDonald’s All-Star Football Game.

Written by: on Saturday, June 17th, 2017. Follow Brian Ptashinski on Twitter.


NAZARETH- The 47th annual McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All Star Classic looked and felt much different than a year ago. The physicality, the intensity and sometimes pure-emotion, that led to several personal foul calls, were all on display Thursday night as the Gold Squad, led by players from Northampton County, Palisades and Philipsburg, NJ overcame a 22 point deficit to defeat the Red team 37-34 at Andrew Leh Stadium. The Red team was represented by players from Carbon, Monroe and Lehigh Counties.

Compared to the 65-62 score from 2016, a rule put in place allowed the team to come back from being down 6 TD’s. This game came right down to the last minute as Freedom quarterback Joe Young connected with Bethlehem Catholic’s Nick Petros  from 12 yards out with 40 seconds left. Randy Terry converted the 2-point conversion to give the Gold the final margin of victory.

The game started out fast and furious in the opening quarter as red jumped out to a 16-7 lead behind a Mike Mitchell 5-yard run at the 9:55 mark and a Mitchell 22-yard pass from Garrett Perschy with 4:25 left in the quarter. Mitchell represented Pleasant Valley and Perschy represented Palmerton. The gold squad sandwiched a 30 jaunt by Jake Young between the two Red scores.

The defenses then took control over the next two quarters as the teams could only find the end zone three times. East Stroudsburg South’s Jake Cirillo connected with Dakota Cross for a 32-yard score for the Red extending the lead to 22-7. Young was on the receiving end of a Ben Nimah pass that covered 19 yards for the Gold squad for a 22-14  score at intermission. The only score in the third quarter was Nimah catching a 22-yard strike from Colin Schucker of  Northampton for Gold squad evening the score at 22 heading into final quarter.

The offenses then got rolling as Ethan Persa teamed up with Tim Walter from 25 yards out as the  Red team took a 28-22 lead at the 11:50 mark.

Young then called his own number from a yard out as Gold grabbed the lead back at 29-28 with PAT. Mike Stasko got on the board for the Red team as he hauled in a 40-yard pass from Perschy, giving his squad a 34-29 lead with 4:49 left in the contest. Then Young worked his team to a game winning 13 play, 70-yard drive, including a huge first down on a fourth and 12. The 32-yard pass to Petros set the Gold up at the Red 8.

“This was a great show these kids put on tonight, by both teams,” said coach Kyle Haas, who left Bethlehem Catholic to take a position at Moravian College. “The Kids, the coaches, everyone came together for a great event. Outstanding!”

“It was great representing your school one more time. We are all appreciative of this moment to go out and get a win. It feels fantastic,” Joe Young stated afterwards.

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