Finishing strongPublished 10:20am Monday, July 22, 2013
The South all-stars closed the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s All-Star Sports Week on a high note, and some of the area’s best athletes had a bit to do with it.
The South all-star girls’ volleyball team downed the North squad 3-1, while the South all-star football team came back from a 21-0 deficit to win 22-21.
Benjamin Russell High School’s Jernika Russell had a kill and helped stuff a kill attempt.
Russell’s successful attack in the second set made the score 24-17 in favor of the South all-stars.
The South all-stars wrapped up the second set soon after, and after narrowly dropping the third set rebounded to claim the fourth set and win the match.
In the North/South all-stars football game, Dadeville’s Terry Toler was a driving force behind the South all-stars’ comeback victory.
The Tigers’ Damarius Gilbert also participated for the South team, making one grab for seven yards.
After weathering an early storm that saw the North all-stars go up by three scores in the first nine minutes, the South all-stars slowly clawed their way back into the contest.
The team saved their best for the later stages of the game, and during crunch time, no player was bigger than Toler.
During the South’s 16-play, 77-yard march down the field, Toler made three catches during what ended up being the South all-stars’ game-winning drive.
His biggest snare came on first down at the North’s 29-yard line.
Toler hauled in a toss from Alma Bryant High School’s Conner Cramer and gained 18 yards, which placed the South all-stars well within striking distance.
Four plays later, the South all-stars punched it in for a touchdown, making the game 22-21 with just 31 seconds left.
A North turnover sealed the comeback for the South.
For the game, Toler made six catches. No other player on either team had more than three catches, and he nearly snagged as many balls as the entirety of the South’s receiving corps (6-7), and Toler almost out-caught the North’s receivers by himself (6-8).
He gained 41 yards through the air. Toler’s totals accounted for nearly half of the South’s total passing yards.