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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club

Late heroics leave all-star game tied

By Dennis Knight dknight@mercurynews.com

Gilroy's Jamie Jensen and Leigh's Ryan Stillwell orchestrated two of the most prolific offenses in the Central Coast Section last season.

Wednesday the quarter-backs went head-to-head with Jensen representing the South and Stillwell the North at the 35th annual Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game at Spartan Stadium.

Both played well in a game that fittingly ended in a 28-28 tie.

Jensen connected on a pair of second-half touchdown passes. The second was a well thrown ball down the right sideline to Oak Grove's Jabari Carr, who took it 39 yards for a score that tied it at 28 with 2:14 left. Jensen had two other touchdown passes, both to Gilroy teammate Dante Fullard on scoring plays of 32 and 10 yards.

"Dante and I had our timing down, but it took a while to find it with Jabari," said Jensen, who was 7 of 12 for 180 yards. "It was great having another wide receiver with such breakaway speed. I told Jabari I would get him the ball in the second half, and I kept my word."

Carr caught four passes for 129 yards and a pair of scores. He turned a catch in the right flat from Branham's Kyle Cool into a 56-yard touchdown with 11:32 left in the fourth quarter.

"I thought our best bet was airing it out, we have one of the best quarterbacks in Northern California history in Jamie and he showed what he can do tonight," Carr said.

But Stillwell put on a show of his own for the North. The Leigh graduate was playing for North Coach Shawn Thomas, also of Leigh, and throwing to a familiar target in Ethan Cosgrove. He also worked well with Milpitas big play specialist Chris Albright.

Stillwell nearly led the North on a game-winning drive, completing 5 of 8 passes for 48 yards to the 15-yard line with 11 seconds left. But Cosgrove's 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Leland's Michael Santini to preserve the tie.

Stillwell completed 20 of 24 passes for 236 yards and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Cosgrove, who had nine catches for 120 yards.

"I wish we could have won so we could shut up Jabari and Jamie," laughed Albright, who caught seven passes for 152 yards.. "But a tie is OK, nobody's feelings are hurt."

The North scored first on a 68-yard post pattern from Wilcox's Cory Murphy to Albright. The North struck again at the end of the first half when Palo Alto's Will Brandin threw a deep ball into traffic. The ball was tipped, but Leigh's Ryan Valentine grabbed it out of a scrum and scored from 58 yards. Travis Johnson of The King's Academy had a pair of sacks for the North and Bubba Chapman of Oak Grove made an interception for the South.

Charlie Wedemeyer, the legendary former Los Gatos coach whose long battle with ALS has inspired many, was on hand once again to greet players as they were announced before the game.

Lucy Wedemeyer said Charlie was released last week after being hospitalized with renal failure and undergoing dialysis for the past couple months.

"Charlie says he feels incredibly blessed to be here tonight to watch some special players," Lucy Wedemeyer said. "This game means so much to him "

North    0  13   0  15  28
South    0   7   7  14  28

North - Albright (Milpitas) 69 pass from Murphy (Wilcox) (Cosgrove kick)
South - Fullard (Gilroy) 32 pass from Jensen (Gilroy) (Amezquita kick)
North - Valentine (Leigh) 58 pass from Brandin (Palo Alto) (kick failed)
South - Fullard (Gilroy) 10 pass from Jensen (Amezquita kick)
North - Murphy (Wilcox) 6 run (Comstock, Los Gatos pass from Stillwell, Leigh)
South - J. Carr (Oak Grove) 56 pass from K. Cool (Branham) (Amezquita kick)
North - Cosgrove (Leigh) 7 pass from Stillwell (Leigh) (Cosgrove kick)
South - J. Carr (Oak Grove) 39 pass from Jensen (Gilroy) (Amezquita kick)