By Tim Peterson
(Walnut) – Walnut’s Salvador Quintanilla crashed into the endzone for a two-point conversion with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter to give the South an 8-7 win over the North Friday night in the North-South All-Star game at Walnut High.
Quintanilla also scored the touchdown to set up the conversion on a one-yard touchdown run that capped a 56-yard drive. The South initially lined up to kick a game-tying extra point but the North jumped off side moving the ball a yard closer and they decided to go for two and the win. The move paid off.
The North had one last shot but the South defense forced a fumble and Walnut’s Elias Rojas fell on it with 13 seconds left it ice it.
The North took the lead with 8:11 left in the first quarter when Azusa’s Jimmy Romo hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from his Azusa teammate Nathan Noquez who hit him in stride and he was off to the races.
That was the only offense the North could muster. The South had a couple of opportunities before finally cashing in. Quintanilla was intercepted in the endzone by Arcadia’s Cardell Mayfield as the first half clock ran out.
In the second half the South marched down to the North 11-yard line but were stopped on fourth down.
Jaden Clark of San Marino also picked off a pass for the North as the South turned the ball over twice. The North had two turnovers as well – an interception by Rojas to go along with his fumble recovery.
West Covina’s Zach Requena had 57 yards on 9 carries for the South and Adrian Silva of Bell Gardens ran for 42 yards on 12 carries. The North’s lone offensive highlight came on the first quarter touchdown. Rosemead’s Nico Banuelos had some success early on the ground and finished with 26 yards.
It was only fitting that on their home field, in their last high school game, the Walnut firm of Quintanilla and Rojas made the biggest plays of the night.
Most Valuable Players
South: Offense – Salvador Quintanilla, Walnut; Defense – Elias Rojas, Walnut
North: Offense – Jimmy Romo, Azusa; Defense- Cardell Mayfield, Arcadia