Going through his list of receivers, quarterback Taylor Heinicke liked his options in Wednesday’s GACA North/South All-Star Football Classic at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium.
“They’re all all-stars. They can all play,” Heinicke, a recent Old Dominion commitment, said. “You just give them the ball and they can make something happen.”
So he did. And they did.
The Collins Hill quarterback completed passes to 10 receivers for 254 yards and three touchdowns to earn team MVP honors and lift the North to a 22-0 victory over the South.
“We had the spread (offense) in, and that’s my kind of offense,” Heinicke said. “I was used to that all year, and I had the athletes.”
The North went ahead 3-0 in the first quarter on a 32-yard field goal by Will Monday (Flowery Branch, Duke commitment), but it was nearly all Heinicke from there. Quarterback C.J. Uzomah (North Gwinnett, Auburn commitment) took several snaps, rushing for eight yards on four carries and tossing the ball off on several option plays, while Heinicke threw 26 of the team’s 27 passes to go 22-for-26 passing with one interception.
Kent Rollins (South Gwinnett) hauled in a long Heinicke pass at the South 20 and ran it the rest of the way untouched for a 64-yard touchdown with 8:05 left in the first half. The South’s Jeffrey Dyson (Thomasville) blocked Monday’s point-after attempt, leaving the North ahead 9-0.
Heinicke’s second touchdown pass went to Uzomah for a 9-yard score, and Monday’s point-after kick made it 16-0.
Monday had an opportunity to kick a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, but a high snap was bobbled and a South defender barrelled over the holder to end the play. The South’s Asher Holland missed a 32-yard opportunity earlier in the half that would have tied the game at 3.
Heinicke accounted for the final score with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Broderick Snoddy (Carrollton, Georgia Tech commitment), who caught the ball near the line of scrimmage and streaked down the right sideline to the end zone.
“Their offense was killing our defense,” The South’s Austin Scott (Hardaway) said. “They were picking us with that quarterback.”
As sharp as Heinicke was, the North got some help from the South, too.
The North’s field goal came on a drive that began when Grady Jarrett (Rockdale, Clemson commitment) forced Ronnie Bell (Sandy Creek) to fumble at the North 49, and the North’s Christian Harris (Etowah, Tennessee commitment) returned it to the South 14.
The South then ate up nearly 10 minutes of playing time spanning the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second period, but the missed field goal gave the North the ball at its own 30 and led to a touchdown two plays later.
The South fumbled the ball away twice but managed to keep the North off the board on the following drives.
“I’m going to say congratulations to the North,” said South linebacker and defensive end Kitray Solomon (Baldwin), who had two sacks and won team MVP honors. “They won from our mistakes.”
Eleven players carried the ball, but none managed to reach 30 yards rushing. Snoddy’s 29 yards on five carries was a game-best as the North ran for 66 yards on 18 attempts.
At least Heinicke managed to move the ball. The South offense struggled to break through with 172 yards passing between three quarterbacks and 76 yards on 30 carries.
“To shut them out, we had to do what the coaches tell us to do: play hard,” North defensive back Antonio Carter (Carver) said. “They have the athletes, so I guess we just outplayed them.”
South 0 0 0 0-- 0
North 3 13 6 0-- 22
N -- Will Monday 32 field goal, 5:58
N -- Kent Rollins 64 pass from Taylor Heinicke (kick blocked), 8:05
N -- C.J. Uzomah 9 pass from Heinicke (Monday kick), :38
N -- Broderick Snoddy 28 pass from Heinicke (pass failed), 5:38
First downs 15 13
Rushes-yards 25-76 18-66
Passing 172 254
Comp-Att-Int 19-35-1 22-27-1
Return yards 66 22
Punts-Avg. 3-36 3-36
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-15 4-30
Time of possession 28:23 19:37
RUSHING -- South, Richmond 5-25, Ruiz 6-22, Clemons 5-14, Anderson 4-11, King 5-4. North, Snoddy 5-29, Wimberly 4-24; Uzomah 4-8, Christian 1-4, Heinicke 3-(minus-5).
PASSING -- South, Bell 5-10-0-45, Ruiz 11-19-1-68, Anderson 3-6-0-59. North, Heinicke 22-261-254, Uzomah 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING -- South, Robinson 5-83, Rome 6-34, Mitchell 4-25, Scott 3-19, Richmond 1-11. North, Rollins 1-64, Howard 4-35, Snoddy 1-28, Christian 5-24, Exume 2-23, Eliezer 3-22, Uzomah 2-22, Sims 1-21, Wimberly 2-11, Palmer 1-4.