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North defense stymies South in 8-Player game
Ty Palzkill
Belmont’s Ty Palzkill started at left cornerback and finished with two tackles in Friday night’s WFCA 8-Player All-Star Game at UW–Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium. - photo by Jason Nihles

WFCA 8-PLAYER ALL-STAR GAME: North 23, South 6

By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal, Fennimore Times, Boscobel Dial

OSHKOSH — The North 8-Player All-Star team dominated the line of scrimmage in a wire-to-wire 23–6 victory over the South in Friday night’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association 8-Player All-Star Game at UW–Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium.

Friday night’s game was the first of the two-day, three-game All-Star event.

The North also won the Small Schools (Division 4–7) All-Star Game 25–7 Saturday afternoon and the North completed the sweep with a 21–20 victory in the Large Schools (D1–3) All-Star Game Friday evening. 

Belmont’s Waylon Palzkill and Ty Palzkill were among the 20 All-Stars who played for the South in the game. Participants in the three All-Star games over the weekend raised a combined $359,806 for Children’s Wisconsin hospitals.

Ty Palzkill started at left cornerback and finished with two tackles. He also served as the team’s long snapper.

Waylon Palzkill started at wide receiver but played multiple positions on offense and finished with a team-high 20 yards rushing on six carries, two catches for 18 yards and completed 1 of 3 passes for 12 yards and threw and interception.

After forcing a three-and-out on the opening possession, the North team struck quickly as Zachary Poetzl (Chequamegon/Mercer/Butternut) broke loose for a 56-yard touchdown run on his team’s first offensive play for an early 6–0 lead. 

The trend would continue throughout as the North outgained its South foe 140–26 in rushing yards for the game.

The North drove to drove to the South 20-yard-line midway through the second quarter, but back-to-back incomplete passes resulted in a turnover on downs. But the South offense again sputtered and went 3-and-out for the fourth straight drive to start the game.

Athens’ Cooper Diedrich scored on a 12-yard run to cap off a short 41-yard drive early in the second quarter to make it 12–0.

The South finally got its first first down of the game on a 7-yard run by Lena’s Logan Shallow with less than six minutes left in the first half. The South drove to the North 29, but a 15-yard loss on a first down sack crippled the drive. Diedrich added a 40-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the North a 15–0 lead heading into halftime.

There was no scoring in the third quarter as both defenses dominated the period. The South finally got on the board when Ethan Campbell (Saint Mary Catholic) caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Wabena/Laona’s Connor Taylor to pull within 15–6.

However, the North defense shut things down from there, including Bryson Keepers (Gilman) recovering a fumble for a touchdown with five minutes remaining. He also caught the ensuing two-point conversion from Gilman teammate Julian Krizan. Keepers finished the night with a team-high nine tackles, including a game-high four sacks. 

The North team out-gained the South 326–158 in total yards, and also forced three South turnovers, including a two fumble recoveries and an interception. 

Diedrich had 246 yards of total offense, completing 18-of-31 passes for 186 yards, adding 60 yards and a score on the ground. Zachary Poetzl added 70 rushing yards on 12 attempts and Wausau Newman’s Jacob Pfiffner led the North with six catches for 112 yards.

The South struggled to find any offensive consistency in the game, but Taylor (Wabeno/Laona) did throw for 123 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-17 passing. Campbell (St. Mary Catholic) caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown to lead the South offense.

North Crawford’s Stephan Munson recorded a game-high 15 tackles, while Oakfield’s Grant Bass added 11 stops to spearhead the South defense.

North 23, South 6
(from Friday, July, 15 @ Titan Stadium, UW–Oshkosh)
North....6 9 0 8 — 23
South....0 0 0 6 — 6
First quarter
N: Zachary Poetzl (Chequamegon/Mercer/Butternut) 56 run (Julian Krizan (Gilman) run failed), 10:11.
Second quarter
N: Cooper Diedrich (Athens) 12 run (Krizan run failed), 9:39
N: FG Cooper Diedrich (Athens) 40, 0:00
Fourth quarter
S: Ethan Campbell (Neenah St. Mary Catholic) 51 pass from Connor Taylor (Wabeno/Laona) (Taylor run failed), 11:07
N: Bryson Keepers (Gilman) fumble recovery in the end zone (Keepers pass from Krizan), 5:01
Team Statistics
First downs — N 15, S 9. Rushing — N 32-140, S 23-28. Passing (comp-att-int, yds) — N 18-31-0, 186; S 11-20-1, 135. Fumbles–lost N 3-2, S 2-2. Penalties-yards N: 5-54, S: 6-57. 
Individual Leaders
Rushing — N: Zachary Poetzl (Chequamegon/Mercer/Butternut) 12-70-1, Cooper Diedrich (Athens) 16-60-1, Julian Krizan (Gilman) 2-8, Sam Negus (Shell Lake) 2-2; S: Waylon Palzkill (Belmont) 6-20, Logan Shallow (Lena) 8-16, Ethan Campbell (St. Mary Catholic) 2-9, Ashton Maney (Three Lakes/Phelps) 1-7, Stephan Munson (North Crawford) 2-3, Connor Taylor (Wabeno/Laona) 9-(-32). 
Passing — N: Cooper Diedrich (Athens) 18-31-0, 186; S: Connor Taylor (Wabeno/Laona) 10-17-0, 123, Waylor Palzkill (Belmont) 1-3-1, 12. 
Receiving — N: Jacob Pfiffner (Wausau Newman Catholic) 6-112, Will Knaack III (Phillips) 3-31, Sam Negus (Shell Lake) 3-25, Bryon Hobscheid Jr. (Northwood/Solo Springs) 3-3, Zachary Poetzl (Chequamegon/Mercer/Butternut) 2-11, Julian Krizan (Gilman) 1-4; S: Ethan Campbell (St. Mary Catholic) 3-82, Logan Shallow (Lena) 3-(-2), Waylon Palzkill (Belmont) 2-18, Ashton Maney (Three Lakes/Phelps) 2-14, Stephan Munson (North Crawford) 1-23. 
Tackle Leaders — N: Bryson Keepers (Gilman) 9 (4 sacks), Syver Gulbrandsen (Northwood/Solo Springs) 7, Julian Krizan (Gilman) 7; S: Stephan Munson (North Crawford) 15, Grant Bass (Oakfield) 11, Lane Whiting (Lena) 9, Caleb Gosse (Green Bay NEW/Oneida) 8, Ty Palzkill (Belmont 2).