Aloha corner takes a pick back to the house for win

by: TIMES PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE  - North team defensive end Joshua Brown of Sunset High School rushes against Souths Nick Duron of Tigard during the first quarter.

Aloha graduate Maurice McSwain will attend the City College of San Francisco this fall and become part of the Rams’ receiving corps.

On Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium it was McSwain’s prowess as a defensive back that helped guide the North to a 31-21 Les Schwab Bowl victory over the South.

The 67th edition of Oregon’s high school all-star football game featured a sloppy six interceptions, eight fumbles and a total of 15 turnovers between the two teams, but it was McSwain’s second interception of the game that was perhaps the biggest.

With the North clinging to a 24-21 late in the fourth quarter and the South facing a fourth down and five from its own 27-yard line, McSwain put the contest to rest when he stepped in front of a South receiver, picked off a pass from quarterback McMinnville’s Gage Gubrud and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.

“I knew they wouldn’t go long in that situation,” McSwain said. “I saw (the receiver) break down his feet and jumped it.”

McSwain also had an interception in the first quarter and was voted the North’s top back for the game.

“It was a blessing to be recognized as one of the best players in the state and get the ‘W’ today,” added McSwain, also one of the North team captains.

McSwain was not the only Metro League player to contribute on Saturday, as other solid performances came from Sunset defensive end Josh Brown, Beaverton defensive lineman Kiuna Talalemotu, and Southridge kicker Alex Beekman.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE  - North team defensive back Maurice McSwain from Aloha High School runs the sideline on his way to a fourth quarter touchdown after intercepting a pass with 2:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Brown was part of three tackles, produced a sack and also forced a fumble.

“We (North team) got to know each other all week, became friends and developed a better chemistry to help us win today,” said Brown, who will attend Portland State University and play for the Vikings at tight end this upcoming season.

Talalemotu produced one solo tackle, four assists, a sack and one tackle for a loss.

“It was everything I imagined for my last high school game,” said Talalemotu, who is of Samoan descent and, along with the rest of his North teammates, partook in an intimidating pre-game Samoan war dance. “I cherished every moment of it and we pulled it out.”

Talalemotu was voted the Defensive Player of the Year by his Beaver teammates this past season and is headed to Oregon State University in the fall. He’s not planning on continuing his football career at the present time.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE  - North team running back and former Beaverton Beaver Grant Johnson takes a turn at defense in the third quarter as he pursues South running back AJ Hotchkins.

Kickers often fall under the radar in all-star games like the Les Schwab Bowl, but Beekman did not go unnoticed, as he drilled all four of his extra point attempts, booted a 30-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare, and added a 52-yard punt into the mix.

“I didn’t really know what to expect today. A few friends of mine played in this game last year and had a blast. We really came together as a team this past week,” said Beekman, who will take his talented right foot to NCAA Division III Pacific University in Forest Grove and kick for the Boxers in the fall.

Both Tyler Cox of Southridge and Charlie Landgraf of Jesuit helped the North hold the South to only one sack with strong play on the offensive line.

Their blocking and pass protection played a key part in North quarterback Aidan Wilder (Central Catholic) being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Cox will head to Utah State University to play for the Aggies in the fall, while Landgraf will join the football program at The Hotchkiss School, a college prepatory boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Westview wide receiver Jacob Sturtevant caught one pass for three yards in limited action, and Beaverton’s Grant Johnson chipped in with a tackle. Wilder passed for 113 yards and rushed for 64 more, scoring on a two-yard plunge in the first quarter and a six-yard run in the second.

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