A breezy Saturday afternoon at Northeast High School on Cottman Avenue was the stage for Philadelphia’s top 100 seniors in the 43rd annual Philadelphia City All-Star game. The battle was between the Public School all-stars and the Catholic/Private school all stars, and for the second time in four years, the Non-Public school team came away with the victory.
Before the game, Non-Public coach Mike Mckay (Father Judge) said he was excited for his team to compete, and noted he hadn’t necessarily put too much emphasis on winning or losing in the practices leading up to Saturday.
“I don’t even think I mentioned the word win until maybe our last practice. We’re trying to make sure we prepare, compete and play the game the right way.”
On the other side, Delaware Valley Charter School head coach Troy Gore represented the Public school team and he noted the importance of winning to send off his seniors the right way.
“A win today would be the perfect scenario. These guys have worked their tails off playing football in this city and what better way to send them off than with a win.”
Unfortunately for the Public side, their second half performance cut off any chances they had of claiming victory over a star studded Non-Public school unit. Heading into the second half, Non-Public held just a 2-point lead with the score 14-12. Public’s Qashah Carter (Simon Gratz) and Devin Darden (Ben Franklin) found the end zone on short runs in the first and second quarters. With both extra point attempts failing, those 12 points were all they could muster in 40 minutes of game action, in what ended up being an unusually lopsided affair.
(Non-Public offense takes the field first in the second
half leading 14-12 Penn Charter QB Mike Hnatkowski to
The Non-Public’s first half scores came from the arm and the legs of Morgan State-bound quarterback Anthony Butler (Roman Catholic). After going scoreless in the first quarter, Butler connected with Georgia-bound, big target Mark Webb (Archbishop Wood) for a 33-yard score- followed by a three yard QB keeper on their next possession.
The white-jerseyed Non-Public team wasn’t done there.
(QB Anthony Butler after being victim of a late hit, "I get hit harder from my mom.")
The second half featured a 19-0 shutout that resulted in a final score of 33-12. Highlights included another Archbishop Wood phenomenon, Rutgers-bound ATH Raheem “Speedy” Blackshear as he racked up all of his 48 yards (3 carries) on the day in the second half. The most notable play of the evening came when Blackshear looked as though he was going to be stopped near the line of scrimmage on a stretch play, until he surged through the crowd and broke away for a 34 yard score. His teammate Mark Webb caught three passes for 78 yards and a touchdown- leading the game in receiving.
(Raheem Blackshear just SURGED through
what looked to be a 2-yard gain into the end
zone - 31 yards 20-12 Non-Pub.)
Penn Charter QB Mike Hnatkowski also played well as the other quarterback alongside Butler, throwing two touchdowns on just 13 pass attempts. The recipients of those were West Catholic’s Ahmad Kent and Wood’s Shawn Thompson (both 34 yards).
MVP’s for the game on the offensive side went to Raheem Blackshear and Public’s Nasir Boykin (Imhotep). Boykin was one of the few threats to the Non-Public team as he threw for 238 yards- more than both quarterbacks on the opposition combined. Defensive MVP’s went to Danny Green (Conwell-Egan) of the Non-Public and Tamir Robertson (Simon Gratz) of the Public team.
(Future Big 10 and SEC players Speedy and Mark Webb looking on at their 33-12 lead with 10 min to go in the game.)