Lake Travis’ Erick­son has 3 TDs as South rolls

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Rick Cantu

SAN AN­TO­NIO — Lake Travis’ Andy Erick­son took three dif­fer­ent routes to the end zone Tues­day night at the Alam­od­ome.

The Rice-bound slot­back had three touch­downs to help the South de­feat the North 36-23 in the an­nual Texas High School Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion All-Star Foot­ball Game.

Erick­son pro­vided a 73yard punt re­turn, a 96-yard kick­off re­turn and a 19-yard touch­down re­cep­tion to earn the game’s Of­fen­sive MVP

Con­tin­ued from C award.

In one of most spec­tac­u­lar in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances in the game’s 76-year his­tory, Erick­son added to his three-touch­down per­for­mance with an in­ter­cep­tion in the fourth quar­ter to help seal the South’s vic­tory.

With his team trail­ing 7-2, Erick­son took a punt at his own 27-yard line, cut right, then burst through the mid­dle of the field at the 50, leav­ing a host of North de­fend­ers be­hind.

For an en­core, he took the open­ing kick­off of the sec­ond half at the 3, fol­lowed his block­ers, and raced down the right side­line for his 96yard touch­down.

While Erick­son stood out, he was not the only Cen­tral Texas player to suc­ceed.

Bas­trop wide re­ceiver Auston Ship­ley caught a go-ahead touch­down pass from Gilmer’s Stump God­frey with 10 min­utes re­main­ing in the game.

West­lake se­nior Bryce Hager had one of the night’s piv­otal de­fen­sive plays — a first-quar­ter safety in the first pe­riod that gave the South its first score.

Hager, al­ready en­rolled at Bay­lor, gave the South an early spark by tack­ling North run­ning back Nathan Jef­fery in the end zone for a safety in the first quar­ter.

Erick­son’s punt re­turn for a touch­down with 4:45 re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter helped the South gain a 9-7 half­time lead. Al­though the score was close, the South dom­i­nated the first half, pos­sess­ing the foot­ball for 19 of the half’s 24 min­utes.

Nei­ther of Erick­son’s touch­down re­turns were All-Star Game records — but they were close.

The 73-yard punt re­turn ranks third in the game’s 76-year his­tory. Louis Fite of Waco High set the record in 1991 with scored 3 touch­downs for South. Katy’s Sam Holl, left, in­ter­cepts a pass with the help of team­mate Gabe Baker, right, of San An­to­nio MacArthur dur­ing the first half at the Alam­od­ome on Tues­day night. an 87-yard re­turn and John­nie Hurndon of Dainger­field had an 81-yard re­turn in 1986.

Erick­son’s 96-yard kick­off re­turn was just two yards short of the record set last year by Liv­ingston’s Dustin Har­ris.

Erick­son, the Amer­i­can-States­man Cen­tral Texas Player of the Year, sim­ply added an­other im­pres­sive chap­ter to his high school ca­reer.

He rushed for 1,063 yards as a se­nior, added 1,326 on re­cep­tions, and was a ma­jor rea­son Lake Travis fin­ished last sea­son with its third con­sec­u­tive Class 4A state cham­pi­onship.

The North ral­lied from a 16-7 deficit in the third quar­ter and took a 17-16 lead on Mis­souri-bound kicker Grant Pierce’s 40-yard field goal.

The an­nual THSCA coach­ing school drew 13,400 coaches to San An­to­nio. Next year’s con­ven­tion will be in Fort Worth.

Kin Man Hui

Andy Erick­son

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