The South's Mitchell Nickovich pulls in a TD pass over the North's Chach Ben-Yisrael on a flea-flicker play Friday.

Trick plays help South earn win in O.C. All-Star Game


COSTA MESA – The South All-Stars struck early Friday with a trick play and soon added another wrinkle on offense.

Their defense took care of the rest.

University quarterback Neil Boudreau threw for a touchdown off a flea-flicker and ran for another score, and the South recorded seven sacks en route to a 37-20 victory in the 57th Brea Lions Orange County All-Star Game at Orange Coast College.

The South set up a touchdown with a double pass in a 17-point second quarter and extended its lead in the series to 28-26-3 by winning for the second consecutive year.

Capistrano Valley wide receiver Mitchell Nickovich completed the double pass for 64 yards and also caught two touchdowns. Tesoro kicker Hayden McGinnis tied a game record with three field goals and was selected the offensive MVP.

South defensive tackle Keiti Iakopo of Fountain Valley was selected the defensive MVP for anchoring a strong defensive line. Defensive end Chris Evagues of Tesoro racked up three sacks, and Elliott Frye of Newport Harbor added two.

“Our front seven was coached really well this week,” Evagues said. “Too much, just constant slaughter, and they (the North) couldn’t handle it anymore.”

It was a pair of trick plays that set the tone for the South, which celebrated by drenching Coach Mike Maceranka of Laguna Hills with their water cooler in the final seconds.

After Iakopo recovered a fumble on the game’s opening possession at the North 35, Boudreau handed off on the first play, took a pitch back and fired a touchdown to Nickovich in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

“We wanted to have fun and let it all hang out,” Maceranka said.

The North regrouped and scored back-to-back touchdowns to take the lead, 12-7. Midway through the first quarter, Garden Grove running back Jordan Antunez scored on a 1-yard run after the North recovered a punt that bounced off a South player near the end zone.

Los Alamitos quarterback Jack Telenko then gave the North a 12-7 lead late in the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Aaron Simpson of Servite.

The South rattled off 17 points in the second quarter to take control. Boudreau capped a long drive with a 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the period. Boudreau completed three passes to David Molina of Saddleback Valley Christian to spark the drive that gave the South a 13-12 lead.

After a sack by Frye helped stop the North’s next drive, the South used its second trick play. On first down from its 25, the South threw a quick pass to Nickovich that was actually a lateral. The receiver then completed a deep pass to Beckman’s Demitrius Goods to the North 11. Three plays later, Nick Chapman of Aliso Niguel tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nickovich with 7:25 left in the second quarter.

McGinnis capped the surge with a 39-yard field goal on the final play of the half. Corona del Mar linebacker Karl Donovan set up the score with an interception near midfield with 1:39 left.

McGinnis added field goals of 24 yards and 42 yards in the second half.

The North trimmed the South lead to 27-20 midway through the fourth on a 27-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Servite linebacker Connor Airey.

The South responded with a 42-yard field goal by McGinnis with 2:50 left and a 26-yard touchdown run by Santa Margarita’s Matthew Mark seconds later after a fumble.

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