Frigid conditions take toll on All-Stars|[12/08/06]
Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2006
CLINTON – Hayden Hales took the shotgun snap, faked a handoff and ran through a hole on the left side of the line. With nothing but 10 yards of field turf between him and the end zone, he sensed a touchdown.
Then, there was a problem. The ball was in front of him too. The fumble had Hales kicking himself afterward, but it hardly dampened his mood. The Porters Chapel quarterback ran 13 times for 25 yards, completed 1 of 3 passes for another 20 yards, and helped the South to a 30-7 win over the North in the Mississippi Private Schools Association All-Star Game Thursday night at Mississippi College.
Hales also saw time at tight end and as a blocker on kickoffs, extra points and field goals. In other words, it was a typical game. During PCA’s season, he played quarterback, tailback and linebacker, as well as returning kickoffs.
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“It was definitely more fun to play that way instead of playing one position the whole game,” said Hales, who was one of three quarterbacks the South coaches rotated regularly. “It was a great experience.”
Each team fumbled three times in the first half – although none were lost – and combined for seven turnovers in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter.
Two of the late miscues were interceptions that the South returned for clinching scores. Parklane Academy’s Brice Wilkinson and WCCA’s Sean Venezia each took an interception to the end zone.
Hales attributed a lot of the mistakes to the frigid weather. The temperature had dipped to 30 degrees by halftime, and a brisk 20 mph north wind only made it worse.
“It was definitely a problem,” said Hales, who also fumbled two snaps in the first half but recovered both. “When you had the ball it didn’t even feel like you had the ball.”
Briarfield’s Jamie Fortenberry completed 1 of 4 passes for 5 yards and Hall Schneider saw time on defense. Briarfield coach Lance Prine was an assistant for the North team.