High School Football: All-star game ends with dramatic OT finish

VANDALIA – Just like the variety of high school senior talent on the field, the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association all-star game had a little bit of everything.

Highlight reel touchdown catches. Long-distance field goals. A big first-half lead. A bigger second half rally. And it ended with a dramatic overtime finish.

The North team, coached by Stebbins’ Greg Bonifay, erased a 20-point deficit in the second half and pulled out a 34-33 victory over the South in overtime. Bonifay’s halftime speech to rally his players was short and sweet.

“It didn’t need to be much. You go out on top,” Bonifay said he told his players. “This is your last opportunity to wear your school colors.”

Brookville’s Daniel Dominique did his Blue Devils’ blue proud with the winning touchdown catch in overtime. After catching a 14-yard pass to get the North down to the 6-yard line, Dominique settled into the back of the end zone on the next play. Springfield Shawnee quarterback Drew Mitch unleashed the throw which was tipped by a diving South defensive back. It was enough for Dominique to bobble the ball after it his hands, but not enough to disrupt Dominique’s concentration.

“I was watching it come in. It seemed like the ball was taking forever to get to me,” said Dominique, who led Brookville with 17 catches for 440 yards and five touchdowns last season. “(The defensive back) got a little tip on it. Luckily the quarterback found me in the end zone and I had the concentration to hold onto it.”

Dominique was named the game MVP after catching four passes for 50yards. He had a six-yard TD in the first half from Fairborn’s Patrick Parrish that tied the game 7-7.

“There’s a lot of great players on this field and to be MVP it’s definitely an honor. A great experience,” said Dominique, who plans to play college football at Ohio Dominican. “We had to eliminate the turnovers on offense and the defense really stepped up. That was the big story. We were able to make the comeback.”

Dunbar’s Greg Packnett Jr., a late-roster addition following an injury to one South quarterback and another on vacation, threw four touchdowns. The first two found Wolverines’ teammate Brandon Wright for scores of 23 and four yards. Wright outleaped his defender in the end zone for an impressive catch. His second came on a slant in the end zone.

Alter’s Brandon McDonald scored the game’s lone rushing touchdown with his 3-yard run as time expired to give the South a 21-7 halftime lead.

Packnett and Dunbar’s Deshaun Huffman teamed up for a 23-yard score with 9:11 left in the third quarter. The South had all the momentum and appeared on the verge of putting the game out of reach leading 27-7.

Troy’s Nick Barr hauled in a 42-yard pass from Mitch to take the North down to the South’s 2-yard line. Three plays later he grabbed a two-yard TD pass with 6:04 left in the third cutting the deficit to 27-14. Meadowdale’s Bryce Garnett snagged Mitch’s 1-yard pass to make it 27-21 with 1:57 remaining in the quarter.

The North defense stalled a pair of South drives by forcing a punt and an interception from Springfield’s Vincent Fisher. The turnover led to a 21-yard field goal from Greenon’s Nathan Hawks that pulled the North to 27-24 with 11:46 left in the game.

South’s next three drives ended with two punts and a turnover on downs as Milton-Union’s Tim Artz and Piqua’s Jerell Lewis both had sacks.

Hawks tied the game with 1:09 left on his 47-yard field goal. Hawks was 10-of-13 on his field goal attempts last fall including a 50-yard field goal against Catholic Central. Bonifay gave him a chance to win the game with a rarely used free kick with :38 seconds left in the game.

North’s defense forced a three-and-out. Bonifay elected to fair catch the punt, which allowed the North to attempt a free kick. If Hawks’ 63-yard free kick off a tee had gone through the uprights it would have counted as a field goal. His kick was on target but fell short in the front of the end zone.

In overtime, the South had one final shot at the win after pulling within 34-33 on a 7-yard touchdown catch from Carroll’s Sam Severt. A personal foul penalty pushed the conversion attempt back to the 27-yard line. The South went for the two-point conversion and the pass was incomplete.

“Our kids played hard the second half and had it in their mind they weren’t going to lose,” Bonifay said. “Couldn’t be more proud of them.”

“A lot of great talent and great coaches. It came down to what kids wanted it the most,” Black said. “Sometimes things just don’t go your way.”

Tippecanoe’s Braden Swank was named offensive lineman of the game and McDonald was named offensive back of the game. Wayne’s Antonio O’Berry earned defensive lineman and Dunbar’s Jamar Payton defensive back honors.

At halftime, Bob Brigati of West Carrollton, Ray Otto of Miamisburg and Ed Mignery of Hamilton, Xenia and Shawnee were inducted into the MVFCA’s Hall of Fame as head coaches. Assistant coaches inducted were Doug Howard of Clinton-Massie, Pat Roncagli of Centerville and Fairmont and the late Bill “Skeeter” Moss of Urbana.

Dunbar’s James Myles Lacking, Xenia’s Paxton Bartley, Northridge’s Isaiah McCallop and Saa’Lih Muhammed were named as scholarship recipients.

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