South beats North in All-Star game

Published 5:37 pm Sunday, December 20, 2009

GULFPORT — The South jumped out to a 21 point lead and held off a furious late rally by the North to earn a 24-17 win in the 61st annual Bernard Blackwell State All-Star Game Saturday.

The contest, played before a crowd of about 3,500 at Milner Stadium, was the first ever in the yearly series played on the Gulf Coast.

South signal-caller Dylan Favre, who was named the teams most valuable player, threw for two scores and ran for another in guiding his squad to a 24-3 lead but also had a costly fumble and threw a pair of interceptions that helped the North in its comeback bid.

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Favre, the nephew of NFL standout Brett Favre, threw a pair of short scoring passes to Ladarius Lyles of Forest in the first half to put the South up 17-3.

Using the spread offense the entire game, he completed his first 12 passes, spreading the wealth around to seven different players.

“You can do that when you have as many good athletes as we had on this team,” Favre said. “There was a lot of talent out there and they made some great plays for me.”

Favre’s 1-yard quarterback sneak mid-way through the third frame put the South up 24-3, and gave his squad what looked to a comfortable lead.

But Favre fumbled while being sacked with eight minutes left, and his first interception minutes later led to short touchdowns runs by Will Bryant and Justin Varner of the North and suddenly it was 24-17 with just over four minutes to play.

“We just dug ourselves too big of a hole,” North head coach Lance Pogue, of Class 6A state champion South Panola, said. “We were able to take advantage of some turnovers and we showed some character getting back in it, but it wasn’t enough.”

Favre’s second interception came with 1:38 to play, and the North took over at the South 35. But North quarterback Peyton Johnson of Madison Central was picked off at the South five by Scott Central’s Jimmie Broomfield to seal the win :35 left.

Picayune’s Jonathan Moore started for the South at wideout and caught one pass from Favre for eight yards in his teams second scoring drive.

“It was exciting to be involved with this game,” Moore said. “We wanted to play well and win. It was a lot of fun playing with Favre and that kind of offense. It’s a honor to be picked for this game.”