The 2016 WFCA All-Star Games were held Saturday at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh. The North squads took the first two games, before the South captured a win in the Large School contest. Full stats and recaps below.
The North 8-Man All-Star team had a significant size advantage over the South team, and in the end, overpowered the South to claim a 48-14 victory.
Chris Pouliot (Luck) got the scoring started with a 14-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, as the North added two more scores in the second. The South team got on the board just before halftime as Tyler Burbach (Oakfield) found Gabe Lloyd (Green Bay NEW Lutheran) for a touchdown, but the North team took a 20-6 lead into halftime.
The North team slowly ground out yardage in the second half, going up 40-6 early in the 4th quarter before cruising home for a 48-14 win.
Pouliot finished with 204 yards and 3 touchdowns on 27 rushing attempts, while quarterback Quinn Larson (Prairie Farm) added 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. The North rolled up 379 yards on the ground, holding the South team to -9 yards on 32 attempts.
Led by a strong showing from a quartet of Amherst stars, the North team jumped out to a 28-6 lead before holding off a late South rally in a 28-24 victory.
The North team scored a pair of touchdowns in a 20-second span of the first quarter, with Garrett Groshek (Amherst) finding Parker Gloudemans (Little Chute) for a 23-yard score. Ben Gutschow (Amherst) picked off Jake Wiedower (Saint Francis) on the first South play, before Gloudemans hauled in another touchdown from Cody Folkers (Fall Creek).
The North took a 28-6 lead into halftime, as the South team struggled to get anything going offensively into the fourth. However, they found a way, with Collin Moen (Lake Mills) hit Michael Richter (Ozaukee) for a score early in the period. Scott Pittz (Mineral Point) scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to make things interesting with 3:16 to go, as the South pulled within 28-18.
A perfectly executed onside kick led to another opportunity, with Wiedower finding Bell for a 29-yard touchdown on 4th and 23. On the play, Wiedower rolled to his left and hurled a desperation pass into the end zone, which Bell latched onto simultaneously with a North defender, resulting in play very reminiscent of the "Fail Mary" play from the Packers-Seahawks several years ago. This time, Bell did secure the ball in time for the correct call to be made.
The ensuing onside kick failed however, as the North team ran out the clock.
The North quarterback duo of Groshek and Folkers was outstanding, combining to go 22 of 31 for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns. Groshek's Amherst teammates on the defensive side of the ball came up big for the North, with Tyler Biadasz recording 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and a forced fumble (he also kicked four extra points). Ben Gutschow had an interception with 5 tackles, while Amaziah McCall added 6 tackles and a pass break-up. Zach Tuner (Stanley-Boyd) led the team with 7 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, while Cole Reimer (Osceola) recorded 3 sacks.
Wiedower completed 16 of 27 passes for 185 yards and 2 scores, with Bell hauling in 6 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns.
A dominating defensive performance led the way for the South Large All-Star team, who won a sixth straight game in the yearly gathering of the state's best players, defeating the North 17-7.
The offenses for both teams struggled in the opening minutes, with the only chances coming off of turnovers, though they struggled to convert. The scoring finally got started right away in the second quarter, as a Coy Coffey (Kaukauna) to Marcus Moreau (Kaukauna) 75-yard pass set-up a one-yard touchdown plunge from Blair Mulholland (Kimberly).
The South team answered shortly before halftime, as Cam Maly (Middleton) got in from 9 yards out. Early in the third quarter, the South pulled ahead on a 31-yard field goal from T.C. Swittel (Brookfield East), then added an insurance score on a 5-yard run from Maly.
The North team put together a 10-play drive mid-way through the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over on downs and did not get the ball back again as the South ran out the clock.
The defenses dominated in this one, as the South compiled just 219 yards of offense, while the North was held to 142. The North team managed just 4 rushing yards on 21 carries, as AP Player of the Year Blair Mulholland was bottled up, limited to -3 yards on 6 carries.
Cam Maly led the way for the South, carrying the ball 20 times for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns.