LYNN – The intensity of the 51st Agganis All-Star football classic resembled the waning seconds of the Super Bowl, as Malden running back O’Shane McCreath ran for a 4-yard touchdown to lift the North to a 26-25 victory over the South at the Manning Bowl Friday.
After North Andover quarterback Brandon Walsh ran for his fourth touchdown of the game (second rushing) to give his team a 25-20 lead, Everett quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso took the field with 4:46 left to orchestrate the winning drive.
“It was the last possession of their high school careers and I said, ‘Don’t leave anything on the bench and do the best you can,’ ” said North coach John DiBiaso. “And I thought they did a great job driving it down.”
Jonathan DiBiaso went 5 for 7 on the final possession, passing for 46 yards to set up McCreath’s winning score.
North scored first when DiBiaso hit Cambridge receiver Kevin Lovaincy for a 35-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, but Walsh answered with a 17-yard pass to Lynn English running back Will Quigley early in the second quarter.
On the next two possessions, the North opened a 20-6 lead with touchdown passes from BC High quarterback Bartley Regan and DiBiaso. Regan tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Northeast receiver Bobby Novello, and DiBiaso hit Chuck Ortiz with a screen pass and he broke for a 48-yard score.
However, the South battled back when the Walsh hit A.J. Baker for a 26-yard pass to make it 20-13, and then ran for a 1-yard touchdown to pull his team within 1 point as tempers began to flare. In a two-play span, four players — two from each team — were ejected.
“It was very intense for an All-Star game,” coach DiBiaso said. “Nobody got hurt. They all came out of it healthy and hopefully they go on to have good careers in college.”