Kobi Crabb got to don the Benjamin Russell helmet one final team during Thursday night’s North-South All-Star game in Montgomery. Crabb knew he would be representing the Wildcats and came up with a couple of key plays to help lead the South to a 22-19 victory during his final high school game.

“It has been a great four years and I really enjoyed it,” Crabb said. “Football tradition is good and the city really supports it. It means a lot to get to wear this helmet one more time because they gave me a chance to play at the next level. I’ll always remember that.”

Crabb played almost every defensive down for the South, starting at safety before being shuffled around the secondary throughout the night. He finished with two tackles, one pass breakup and one blocked kick.

In the first half, Crabb spoiled a trick play to keep the South in front by breaking up a pass near the end zone. The North ran a double pass but Crabb stuck to his safety position and followed the ball to receiver, nearly grabbing an interception in the process.

“When they threw it to the running back, I saw him step back a little bit so I knew it was going to be a pass,” Crabb said. “I got over there but I dropped it so that was tough.”

Crabb did not finish his night there and came out with a play that changed the outcome of the night in the second half. The North took its first lead of the game with a touchdown drive to start the third quarter but the damage was limited with the help of Crabb.

After a high snap on the extra point, Crabb came around the right edge and blocked the kick to keep the deficit at six points. Crabb said that was the moment he felt the competitiveness of the game jump up a level.

“It was definitely competitive,” Crabb said. “There were some of the best players in the state here so everybody is going to be good. There’s going to be a lot of competition so that was pretty fun.”

The South did not waste any time and regained the lead with a touchdown plus the extra point midway through the third quarter. Crabb’s block forced the North into a two-point conversion on its next score but it failed to convert, allowing the South to take the lead for good on the final touchdown of the night.

Dadeville coach Richard White was the head coach for the South and he said he liked the energy his sideline showed during the second half. He said he had a lot of help from his coaching staff to keep the kids fired up so a play like Crabb’s block helped turn around the momentum.

“Coaches get competitive,” White said. “We can’t help it because that’s just in our blood. Kids started feeding off of that and they started doing things we needed to win the football game.”

The teams had just four days together prior to kickoff but both sidelines started to gel together as the game continued into the second half. Crabb said you still want to win for your teammates even though you have not known them very long.

“It’s definitely different,” Crabb said. “Chemistry isn’t there quite as much with your teammates and you’ve got new coaches. There’s a learning curve to it but in the end, we came together and got the win.”

Both squads were forced into some late replacements due to some players dropping out of the competition from the original roster. White said that made things more challenging but he was proud of how his players responded.

“I think we got a lot of quality kids and quality football players in as replacements,” White said. “These kids got to finish their high school career with a win. They responded how they needed to.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writers at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.