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The North's Juwan Dolbrice of Linden (10), who was his team's offensive MVP, spins as he is tripped up by the South's defense during Monday night's 37th Phil Simms New Jersey North-South Classic at Kean University's Alumni Field. The South was able to hang on for 23-21 win in the contest. (Photos by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)
The North's Monmouth University-bound Marc McDonald of West Essex (92) had to be double-teamed by the South as the All-Essex Knights perimeter defender was an absolute handful for the South O-Line to deal with in Monday night's all-star classic.
One of the former NFL stars on hand for Monday night's North-South All-Star Classic was one-time Matawan standout Jim Jeffcoat, longtime standout defensive lineman, who is seen chatting here with the North-South Game Director Ken Trimmer (right).
Calvin Thompson (left) of the South's staff pats the head of Long Branch placekicker Vincente Mota who booted three field goals and was selected as the South offensive MVP as he is also congratulated by former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Neil O'Donnell of Madison and ex-GIants QB and current Fox TV NFL color analyst Phil Simms (right).
Kevin Szott (left), the brother of former NFL lineman Dave Szott of Clifton, presents the North offensive MVP award to Linden's Juwan Dolbrice (10) as North General Manager James Williams of Roselle joins them after Monday night's all-star game.
Three North standouts from neighboring schools, from left, Caldwell's O-lineman Ian Davison, West Essex's defensive end Marc McDonald and Cedar Grove's O-lineman Russ Pagano get together after Monday night's 37th Phil Simms North-South Classic.
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A sack by North lineman Leonard Watts of Barringer led to the North driving down field right before the half for its first score. Panghorn completed a pass to a wide-open Lucas Faria of Sparta that put the ball on the South five-yard line with just 38 seconds left in the second quarter.
After wide receiver Justice Stewart of Union had the ball knocked away from him in the end zone on first down, Panghorn then threw a perfect pass over the shoulder of Seton Hal Prep’s Vincent Nisivoccia, who against single coverage came down with the soft toss in the left corner of the end zone for the North’s first points.
Matt Ferrera of Cresskill followed up with the first of his three extra-point kicks to give the North its first lead of 7-6 with 27 seconds remaining before intermission.
Stewart, the son of former Union All-America and 1986 graduate Tony Stewart, caught three passes, two in the first half from Panghorn and one in the second half from Juwan Dolbrice of Linden, who was named the North’s Offensive MVP for his performance returning kickoffs and punts and his play at quarterback.
After Castranova’s kickoff return put the South ahead again, the North came right back. With Dolbrice behind center, the talented runner found room on the left side and then tossed a shovel pass to Matt McFadden of Morristown-Beard.
McFadden quickly found a hole in the middle of the field, sprinted through it, and managed to reach the end zone on a play that covered 53 yards. Ferrera’s second extra point gave the North its second and final lead of 14-13.
The South came right back. Some seven minutes later in the third quarter, with 5:50 to go, Mota connected on a 35-yard field goal to put the South ahead for good at 16-14.
The South then regained possession by recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. A horse-collar tackle by the North that resulted in a 15-yard penalty put the ball on the North 14 with just over four minutes to go in the period.
Eluding an on-coming rush, South quarterback Connor Davies of Lacey first moved right and then found Terence Young of Iselin Kennedy open on the right side of the end zone for the South’s second and final touchdown. Mota’s second extra point and 11th point of the game put the South lead at 23-14.
The score remained that way until North defensive linemen Tevaughn Grant of Paterson Eastside – the North’s Defensive MVP – came up with a fumble recovery after the ball was knocked loose from the South quarterback.
With just 3:50 to go and the ball on the South 15, the North wasted no time getting one of the two scores it needed. Panghorn – who on the North’s previous possession was intercepted by Marshe Terry of Northern Burlington deep in South territory – quickly made up for that errant throw.
On the first play of the possession, Panghorn fired a ball right into the arms of Ugo Ezemma of St. Joe’s, Montvale, with the wide receiver cutting across the middle and into the end zone for the game’s final score.
After wisely using its final timeouts and the defense making a stop, the North got the ball back one more time, with Panghorn moving the ball down field as deep as the South 42 before the game’s final drive stalled.
Once again the South proved to be just a bit better in taking a two-game series lead.
LINDEN’S DOLBRICE SHOWED FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE
Linden’s Juwan Dolbrice almost broke the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown, later in the game sprinted through the middle of the field on another kickoff return for big yardage and then guided the North to a touchdown the first time he came in at quarterback.
After leading Linden to its first state championship in 29 years last fall, his talents were on display on a big stage and against the best players in the state.
The American International College-bound all-purpose performer didn’t disappoint.
“This was a good experience, getting to meet new people and just being part of a great atmosphere,” said Dolbrice, who played on state championship basketball and football teams at Linden. “I was a bit nervous at first, but felt I picked it up in the second half.”
Dolbrice threw two touchdown passes and scored the winning touchdown on a kickoff return in Linden’s 27-20 win over Elizabeth in last December’s North 2, Group 5 championship game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. He also clinched the victory by coming up with an interception in the right corner of the Linden end zone.
“In the beginning of camp I was bad, I wasn’t completing anything,” Dolbrice said of his passing. “The coaches helped me pick it up. Even though we didn’t win this was a lot of fun.”
Dolbrice will now be playing on the Division 2 level in Springfield, Mass.
“They run the Wildcat and I may get to play quarterback,” Dolbrice said.
“Juwan felt right at home there,” said out-going Linden mentor and North assistant coach Deon Candia.
Candia, a 1991 Linden graduate, played at AIC in the 1990s. He first made the announcement of stepping down from coaching – in order to earn a doctorate degree – at Linden’s post-season football banquet.
Candia was the head coach at Linden for seven seasons from 2008-2014, finishing with a record of 42-32 (.568) that included three consecutive playoff appearances and one state championship, the program’s first since Linden captured North 2, Group 3 in 1985.
Candia also guided the Tigers to the 2014 Mid-State 38 Conference’s Watchung Division title, Linden finishing a perfect 7-0 in league play. Linden won the Watchung Division title for the first time and captured a division title for the first time since the 1990s.
“I’ll miss it,” said Candia, who also served as an assistant coach at Linden. “This was a great opportunity, to coach in this game.
“There’s such a talented group of kids here. They’re well-coached and well-mannered. The kids really picked up on things.”
WEST ESSEX’S McDONALD WAS DIFFICULT TO GET PAST
North defensive lineman Marc McDonald of West Essex was not satisfied until he brought down whichever South player had the ball.
Many times it was South quarterbacks who felt his wrath.
McDonald’s second sack came on the last play of the first half after the North had just taken its first lead.
The 6-2, 235-pounder, who is headed to play at Monmouth University, continued to be a force to be reckoned with in the second half in his continued pursuit of every ball-carrier he attempted to chase down.
37th ANNUAL PHIL SIMMS NORTH-SOUTH
HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STAR FOOTBALL CLASSIC
SOUTH (18-16-2) 3 3 17 0 - 23
NORTH (16-18-2) 0 7 7 7 - 21
SOUTH – FG Vincente Mota 45 (S 3-0)
SOUTH – FG Vincente Mota 37 (S 6-0)
NORTH – Vincent Nisivoccia 5 pass from Rylan Panghorn, Matt Ferrera kick (N 7-6)
SOUTH – Matt Castranova 100 kickoff return, Vincent Mota kick (S 13-7)
NORTH – Matt McFadden 53 pass from Juwan Dolbrice, Matt Ferrera kick (N 14-13)
SOUTH – FG Vincente Mota 35 (S 16-14)
SOUTH – Terence Young 18 pass from Connor Davies, Vincent Mota kick (S 23-14)
NORTH – Ugo Ezemma 15 pass from Rylan Panghorn, Matt Ferrera kick (S 23-21)
SOUTH LEADS SERIES: 18-16-2
2015: South 23 North 21- at Kean University
2014: South 20, North 14 - at Piscataway High School
2013: North 54, South 8 - at Kean University
2012: North 14, South 7 - at Kean University
2011: South 21, North 14 - at Kean University
2010: North 17, South 3 - at Kean University
2009: South 7, North 0 - at Kean University
2008: North 31, South 25 - at Rutgers Stadium
2007: South 14, North 7 - at Rutgers Stadium
2006: North 31, South 16 - at Rutgers Stadium
2005: North 9, South 7 - at Rutgers Stadium
2004: North 26, South 21 - at Rutgers Stadium
2003: South 3, North 0 - at Rutgers Stadium
2002: No game was played at Rutgers
because of inclement weather before kickoff.
2001: North 24, South 0 - at Rutgers Stadium
2000: South 20, North 5 - at Rutgers Stadium
1999: South 22, North 19 - at Rutgers Stadium
1998: North 33, South 31 - at Rutgers Stadium
1997: South 28, North 24 - at The College of New Jersey
1996: South 32, North 23 - at Rutgers Stadium
1995: North 37, South 15 - at Rutgers Stadium
1994: South 21, North 16 - at Trenton State College
1993: South 9, North 8 - at Giants Stadium
1992: North 7, South 7 (tie) - at Giants Stadium
1991: North 26, South 12 - at Giants Stadium
1990: North 14, South 10 - at Rutgers Stadium
1989: South 24, North 0 - at Rutgers Stadium
1988: South 12, North 9 - at Rutgers Stadium
1987: North 21, South 10 - at Rutgers Stadium
1986: North 20, South 17 - at Rutgers Stadium
1985: North 10, South 10 (tie) - at Rutgers Stadium
1984: North 7, South 0 - at Rutgers Stadium
1983: South 41, North 7 - at Rutgers Stadium
1982: South 16, North 7 - at Rutgers Stadium
1981: South 32, North 0 - at Rutgers Stadium
1980: North 13, South 6 - at Rutgers Stadium
1979: South 34, North 13 - at Rutgers Stadium
Follow JR Parachini on Twitter @parachini_jr
Lenape Valley QB Rylan Panghorn, who helped direct the North offense, looks for opening in Monday night's 37th Phil Simms New Jersey North-South All-Star Classic.
D-lineman Tevaughn Grant of Paterson Eastside (65, right) is congratulated by North teammate for his exemplary play on Monday night. Grant was voted North's Defensive MVP for his fine efforts in the contest despite a narrow 23-21 loss to the South stars.
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