The 2015 WFCA All-Star Games were held on Saturday, July 18th at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh, with the North teams capturing two of the three games, including the inaugural 8-Man All-Star Game.
Participants in the All-Star Games raise money for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and fundraising efforts by those players and coaches resulted in a record of just more than $500,000 being raised for Children's Hospital. Brookfield Academy's Spencer Francis was the top fundraiser, with more than $15,000 raised.
Photos of the games were taken by Nate Beier of GX3 Media. Photos are available to view and purchase at http://gx3media.smugmug.com/Sports
Results of the games available below.
There was a considerable amount of interest in the 8-Man All-Star Game, presented as part of the WFCA games for the first time this year. Many coaches and fans had not previously seen an 8-Man game in person, and it was the talk of the weekend leading up to the 10 am kickoff.
The South team got on the board first with a Kyle Keehan to Chris Anderson touchdown pass, but the North squad rebounded quickly with two scores in less than a minute to take a 12-6 lead that they would not relinquish en route to a 20-14 victory.
Playing with a field 40 yards wide instead of the normal 53 yards, with the adjusted sidelines marked off by yellow rope, the game was the fast-paced from the beginning. The South team outgained the North in total yards, 330 to 218, but committed a number of miscues in key spots.
Luck's Trent Strapon threw for a pair of touchdown passes for the North, adding 22 yards on the ground as well. Nathan Moen of Prairie Farm rushed for 68 yards and a score, adding a pair of reception and touchdown through the air as well.
Keehan, from Gibraltar, was effective through the air, completing 7 of 15 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, while Valley Christian's Ryan Van Maanen added a touchdown pass along with a team-best 61 rushing yards. Matthew Andersen of Gibraltar caught 3 passes for 52 yards and a score.
Offense was at a premium in the Small School All-Star Game, with no touchdowns scored in regulation. The teams were tied at 3, before the North team got a touchdown on their first possession and recovered a fumble to seal the deal in a 10-3 victory.
The only scoring in the first 42 minutes of the game came from Edgar's Kaleb Wolf, who knocked home a 30-yard field goal for the North with 11:01 left in the 2nd quarter. The teams traded good defense and mistakes and inconsistency on offense before the South team finally got on the board with 5:38 left in the game when All-State kicker Zach Hintze of Saint Mary's Springs connected on a 26-yard field goal.
In overtime, the North team got the first opportunity, and quickly went in for a touchdown when Tony Britton of Grantsburg caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Southern Door's Mitchel Neubauer. The South possession, and the game, ended on a fumble, recovered by North's Cole LaLiberty (Chetek-Weyerhaeuser).
The South team struggled with fumbles and negative plays throughout the day, leading to just 91 yards of total offense. The North managed just 186 yards, led by 59 rushing yards from Britton.
The North Large School All-Star team hadn't won since the 2010 season, and many thought 2015 was the best chance since then for the streak to end. The game was close, and North had chances, but the South pulled out yet another victory, 20-15.
The South team got on the board early in the game, driving quickly to score on a 28-yard Charlie Greif (Marquette) to Mitchell Dess (South Milwaukee) touchdown pass. Things slowed after that, but the North did get on the board as the clock struck zero at halftime when Carter Schmitz (Germantown) was good on a 38-yard field goal.
The 3rd quarter was key for the South, started out by an 86-yard interception return for a score by Brookfield Central linebacker Mitchell Ahmad after North had driven inside the red zone.
Schmitz was good on another field goal later in the period, but the South answered when Nathaniel Osterloo of Mount Horeb/Barneveld out-jumped a defender in the corner of the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown catch from Greendale's Josh Ringelberg.
The North team pulled within 20-13 on a Mitchell Gerhartz (Hortonville) touchdown run in the 4th quarter, but missed several other scoring opportunities.
The South team took a safety with one second left to wrap up the scoring and provide the final 20-15 margin.