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WFCA All-Star Game Recap: North sweeps all three from the South

07/16/2022, 8:45am CDT
By Travis Wilson, for the WFCA

The 2022 WFCA All-Star Games were held Friday and Saturday at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh. Full stats and recaps will be posted below as they are available.

The WFCA All-Star Games serve as a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. This year's coaches and players raised more than $350,000.

8-PLAYER: NORTH 23, South 6

The North 8-Player squad scored first and tacked on at the end for a 23-6 victory over the South 8-Player in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association 8-Player All-Star Game Friday night at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh.

After forcing a three-and-out on the opening possession, the North team struck quickly as Zachary Poetzl (Chequamegon/Mercer/Butternut) took their first offensive play 56 yards for a touchdown for an early 6-0 lead.

Cooper Diedrich (Athens) added on for the North team, capping off a 41-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown scamper early in the second quarter, pushing the advantage to 12-0. He wasn't done, however, booting a 40-yard field goal as the first half expired to make it a 15-0 North lead at the break.

There was no scoring in the third quarter as neither team was able to get much going offensively, but the South got its lone score early in the fourth when Ethan Campbell (Saint Mary Catholic) caught a 52-yard pass from Connor Taylor (Wabeno/Laona), pulling within 15-6.

However, the North defense shut things down from there, including Bryson Keepers (Gilman) recovering a fumble for a touchdown with five minutes remaining, also catching the ensuing two-point conversion from Gilman High School teammate Julian Krizan.

The North team easily out-gained the South, 326-158, also forcing three South turnovers. Cooper Diedrich had 246 yards of total offense, completing 18-of-31 passes for 186 yards, adding 60 yards and a score on the ground. Zachary Poetzl added 70 rushing yards. Jacob Pfiffner (Newman Catholic) led the team with six catches for 112 yards.

The South struggled to get going offensively, but Connor Taylor did throw for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-17 passing. Waylon Palzkill (Belmont) was the top rusher for the South with 20 yards on six carries. Ethan Campbell caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Small Schools: North 25, South 7

After some fits and starts, the North Small team jumped out to a second quarter lead they'd never relinquish on its way to a 25-7 victory over the South Small team in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Small School All-Star Game.

Held on Saturday, July 16 at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh, the North dominated in time of possession and yards (377-219), especially dominating the game's final three quarters.

It was a rough start for the North, who had just five yards of offense in the first quarter to 66 for the South team. However, it remained a scoreless affair into the second quarter, when North's Ashten Quade (Ellsworth) caught two touchdown passes, the first an 82-yard bomb from Ben Wesolowski (Wittenberg-Birnamwood) and the second a tipped pass from Wesolowski.

The South did get on the board late in the half following a North fumble off a shovel passes with less than a minute remaining. With just 13 seconds remaining on the clock, Beau Kopp (Cuba City) hit a wide open Sam Peiffer (Cedar Grove-Belgium) in the end zone for a 28-yard score to make it 12-7 at halftime.

It remained that way into the fourth quarter before Brycen Cashin (Pacelli) scampered in from eight yards out with 9:46 remaining, capping a lengthy 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. The North would cap things off with another score, when Simon Bauer (Durand) went in from five yards out on another long North drive.

Brycen Cashin had a big day for the North, rushing for 95 yards and a score on 15 carries. Likewise, Ben Wesolowski completed 12-of-18 for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns (plus 31 rushing yards). Ashten Quade had a big day with seven catches for 127 yards and two scores.

Beau Kopp threw for 106 yards on 13-of-24 passing to lead the South Small All-Star Team. Anthony Nolden (Belleville) caught a team-high five passes for 38 yards, while Sam Peiffer led the way with 49 receiving yards. Sam Heicher (Lake Country Lutheran) had a team-best 22 rushing yards on five attempts.


Special teams was the difference, even in an exhibition, as the North Large team topped the South Large 21-20 in the WFCA Large School All-Star Game.

At UW-Oshkosh's Titan Stadium, the North got on the board first on a South special teams miscue. Following a dropped punt snap and some bouncing of the ball, North's Brooks Brewer (Menomonie) scooped it up and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown.

The score was still 7-0 into the third quarter when the South got on the board on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Smith (Arrowhead) to Christian Crump (Kenosha Bradford). 

The North answered quickly on some trickeration, with Elliott Lowney (Shawano) taking a double reverse and throwing it deep to Carson Sippel (Kaukauna) for a 62-yard touchdown.

The third quarter action continued fast and heavy, with the South answering when Smith hit Crump for another touchdown, this time on a wild Hail Mary on fourth down from 17 yards out. On the first play of the ensuing North drive, Vito Massa was picked off by Logan Engeseth (DeForest), who returned it to the two yard line. On the next play, Nigel Cheeks (Whitefish Bay) went in for a touchdown, but in a key development, the extra point was missed.

Another key special team play occurred early in the fourth quarter when the South missed a short field goal attempt that would have made it a two-score game.

The North team would then drive 80 yards in ten players, burning 6:35 off the clock, converting a fourth and goal from the 14 when Riley Warzynski (Stevens Point) found Patrick Lippe (Port Washington) for a touchdown with 2:43 remaining in the game, going ahead 21-20 on the successful extra point.

The South would get two more possessions, but Charlie Smith threw an interception to Jackson Schooley (Wisconsin Rapids) and a final desperation drive ended as time ran out.

Riley Warzynski had a big game throwing it for the North, completing 11-of-15 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Pludeman (Ashwaubenon) led the team with 25 rushing yards, while Carson Sippel hauled in six passes for 117 yards and a score.

South quarterbacks combined for 334 passing yards in the loss, as Charlie Smith went for 215 and two scores, while Quentin Keene (Waunakee) completed 11-of-20 for 119 yards. Alijah Maher-Parr carried the ball four times for 13 yards, while Keaton Arendt (Franklin) caught 12 passes for 176 yards. Christian Crump added six catches for 83 yards and two scores.

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