Riley, Metro stars crush South 49-25
The California-bound QB wins MVP honors as the North team cruises
PORTLAND - For the 10 Metro League players on the North team at Friday's Les Schwab Bowl, their team's 49-25 rout of the South put a satisfying exclamation point on their high school football careers.
And every one of them - every single one - had good reason to be proud of their part in the North's convincing victory which included a 49-7 edge until the game's rules dictated four straight kickoffs to the South in the fourth quarter.
Jesuit's Keo Camat rushed for 30 yards in the game and scored twice, once on a Cody Kempt pass and once on a three-yard run.
Beaverton's Jake Fetzer caught two passes and recovered a fumble for the North.
Southridge's Scott Hirsch-berger helped his North team pile up 184 yards rushing and average almost six yards per carry on the night.
Southridge's George Huntzicker laid down two of the hardest hits of the night and helped the North hold the South to just seven points until the latter half of the fourth quarter.
Westview's Cody Kempt piled up 169 yards in total offense and passed for two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Aloha's Jordan Miller made his final high school game a keeper, dogging South quarterbacks all night from his spot at left defensive end.
Westview's Paul Nishizaki joined the rest of the big men on the North defensive line and held the South to just 32 rushing yards on 26 carries.
Jesuit's Torin Rigoni provided solid pass coverage and helmet-crunching run support from his linebacker position, allowing the North to pile up a huge edge in total yardage.
Beaverton's Kevin Riley won Most Valuable Player honors after completing 14-of-27 passes for 236 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Jesuit's Dave Stecher joined Rigoni and the rest of the North linebackers in forcing five South turnovers, with Stecher recovering two fumbles for his team.
Along the way, they also had a lot of fun. A lot of fun.
'It was a great way to end it. It was a fun week,' said Miller, who played his final football game on Friday. 'I'll remember the friendships I made, all 36 guys hanging out in one room, all the practices. It was all fun.'
'It was a lot of fun, a lot of fun playing with all these guys. They're great,' said Huntzicker, who will play his football next year at Southern Oregon. 'They're the all-stars of Oregon (and) everyone was pretty cool.'
Just as importantly, the North team - led consistently by its Metro all-stars and head coach Ken Potter of Jesuit - put together the kind of cohesive, focused effort that's more often the exception rather than the rule in all-star contests.
'I wasn't sure what to expect,' said Stecher, who ended his football career Friday and will attend school at Duke next year. 'It was kind of hard because you get out here with a bunch of guys on the team you think you hate, but by the end of the week, we really turned into a team.'
'The game was great, but one of the best parts was just getting to know these guys I've been playing against forever and then just coming together like a team,' said Camat, who will play outside linebacker at Oregon State next year.
No one on the North side, however, had more of an impact on Friday's game than the California-bound Riley. He drove his team to four touchdowns (three of them on TD passes) in a span of less than two quarters, rallied the North from a 7-0 deficit to a 42-7 advantage and walked off with the game's MVP trophy as a result.
'It's a wonderful feeling, and being that so many guys could have got this tonight, it feels good to get it,' Riley said.
His day started on an ignominious note when the South picked off a first-quarter pass and set up the South's first TD - a three-yard Corey Moran run. After that, though, Riley was golden.
After Kempt got the North even at 7-7 with a first-quarter TD pass to John Sheffield, Riley pushed his team into a 14-7 lead it would never relinquish when he rolled right and hit Sam Oltman for a 19-yard scoring strike.
Riley came back on his team's next series with a 60-yard bomb down the right sideline to Oltman that took the North to the one-yard line on the last play of the first quarter. He then put the North back in the end zone on the next play, hitting Jared Forrell on a play-action pass to the left side of the end zone.
Riley had another couple arrows in his first-half quiver, too, hitting Bubba Lemon for a 53-yard pickup to the South 23-yard line, hitting Lemon again for 17 yards to the six, then connecting with Sheffield for the score with 36 seconds left in the half to make it 28-7.
Riley then engineered his team's sixth scoring drive, eventually sending Camat into the end zone on a sweep to the right side for a 41-7 lead with 5:01 left in the third period.
'It's hard to get timing together in a week … but our receivers and quarterbacks had a good connection,' Riley said. 'And the linemen did a wonderful job. For just having a week, it's so hard to get every blocking scheme down, but they did a great job.'
Kempt, bound for Oregon's football team next fall, was strong, too, leading his team to two its three other scores, including a four-yard strike to Sheffield in the first quarter and a six-yarder to Camat with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
Camat also made a big impact - and a surprising impact - for the North's offense. While he knew he'd contribute at linebacker and safety for the defense, he didn't quite expect to get as much of a shot as he did on the offensive side of the football.
'I didn't even expect it honestly. I didn't expect to play too much offense,' Camat said. 'It was great. I was happy to be on both sides of the ball and help the team out any way that I could.'
To see a complete photo gallery from the 2006 Les Schwab Bowl, please visit http://www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com/g/football