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December 21, 2013

South downs North 44-24 behind USF commits

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SEBRING -- If commitments hold true, the USF Bulls will have a very potent combo heading their way in February.

Tampa Bay Tech ATH Tajee Fullwood caught two Tyler Kaminski (Palm Harbor University High School) touchdown passes and Deiondre Porter kept the North guessing as the two quarterbacks helped the South beat the North 44-24 in the 59th annual Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star game

Kaminski threw three touchdown passes overall and had one dropped in the fourth quarter. Porter hooked up with teammate Ventell Bryant (Temple) to keep the South offense moving.

Fullwood - the South's MVP - and Porter led a dominant South offense and the defense wasn't too shabby either - with Georgia commit Keyon Brown dominating the defensive line.

Brown, from nearby Wauchula Hardee County - was all but unblockable - constantly harassing North QB's Charlie Kelly (Tallahassee Rickards) and West Florida's Joey Baker.

Tallahassee North Florida Christian RB Jonathan Vickers was the main offensive threat for the North. The Florida State commit won MVP honors for his squad.

The game started badly for the North - when East Lee County (Lehigh Acres) DB Winfred Ward III stepped in front of a screen pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown, putting the South on top 7-0.

The North team tied the game with a Buddy Edwards (Lake Butler, Union County) four yard run - and took a 10-7 lead near the end of the first on Ryan Feely's 21 yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the quarter.

Feely, from Tallahassee Leon - is the third generation of his family to play in the FACA all-star game.

The South took the lead for good when Kaminski found Fullwood in the flat, and the Rivals Three-star ATH broke two tackles on a 23 yard run to the end zone on the first play of the second quarter.

The South would add a score by Anthony Rice from Tavernier Coral Shores took a fourth-down handoff and burst 32 yards for a score.

After the North was unable to move the ball on the second half kickoff, the South made its most costly mental mistake, touching a punt deep in its own territory. Kelly hooked up with teammate Stephen Denmark to cut the lead to 21-17, but that was as close as it got.

The South scored 17 unanswered points - including a 51 yard burst by Sarasota Booker RB Marlon Mack. Mack, a UCLA commitment, has been targeted by several schools with the coaching changes in Los Angeles.

After the game, Vickers talked about playing against some of the state's best players.

"This was a great experience," Vickers said. "I'll be seeing some of these guys down the road. It's great to face these guys that will be playing on the next level."

Vickers, who also a baseball player, got a chance to see Hardee's Keyon Brown up close.

"Some times he got me and some times I got him," Vickers said.

Brown is excited about playing in Athens, but will not be able to make the Gator Bowl, where Georgia faces off with Nebraska. Brown will be participating in the Semper Fidelis Bowl in San Diego.

"I won't be able to make that one (the Gator Bowl)," Brown said. "But I'm anxious to be a Bulldog. I picked Georgia because coach (Mark) Richt is a great Christian man and a great coach."

As for Porter and Fullwood, both are anxious to get to South Florida and help the Bulls turn things around.

"It's been crazy, the recruitment process," Porter said. "A lot of schools are coming after me and trying to get me to change, but I'm still a Bull. I'm going to stay complete with my decision."

"The coaching staff, the location, you can't get no [sic] better than that. They're going to give me the opportunity to compete," Porter said. "I can't wait to get there."

Porter will be competing in the Blue-Grey All-American game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Fullwood, the MVP for the South, was humbled by the recognition.

"First of all, I want to thank God because without him - nothing like this is possible," Fullwood said. "I feel great about the award. I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do this entire game."

Fullwood, who plays both ways for Tampa Bay Tech, spent the majority of his time as a slot receiver.

"I can play where they put me - if I'm at corner, I'll lock down your receiver - and if I'm at receiver, I'm going to shut your corner down. Where ever I'm at, I feel like I can be a big impact on the team."

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