South tops North in senior football send-off
CAMBRIDGE — Every year, the fall sports season officially ends for Bayside Conference high schools with the Eastern Shore Bowl senior football game, the 11th edition played at Cambridge-South Dorchester High on Sunday afternoon.
Appropriately, winter seemed to begin as snow started to fall heavily in the final quarter of the South’s 35-13 victory, its fourth in the series.
“I liked playing in the snow, even though we didn’t get it until really late in the game,” North Caroline defensive lineman Brendin ‘Buddha’ Gestole said. “We don’t usually get snow this early.
“I’ll miss all this,” Gestole added. “But I know, too, I want to play football at the next level. I’ve gotten a couple of offers, and some more interest from other schools. I just haven’t made my mind up yet where I want to go.”
Though the first few installments of this annual showcase have been comprised entirely of Bayside players, the game has expanded in recent years, with the addition of players from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and the Henlopen (Del.) and Upper Chesapeake Bay conferences. Those groups have been joined by a number of players from Anne Arundel County teams such as Annapolis, Northeast, as well as Dundalk. In all, 20 public schools were represented Sunday.
While the flakes didn’t accumulate early, the South’s
big plays did, though the first one didn’t count.
On the game’s first snap, Sussex Tech (Del.) tailback Mike Norsworthy dashed left 65 yards for a touchdown. It was erased by a procedure penalty. Norsworthy scored five game minutes later, though. The point-after kick was missed, putting the South ahead 6-0 with 9 minutes, 52 seconds to go in the first of four 15-minute quarters.
The South extended its lead to 9-0 later in the opening quarter on the first of two 35-yard field goals by Milford’s John Gaglione.
The North answered a few minutes later when quarterback Markus Thompson (Old Mill) found Zion Green (Annapolis) for a 10yard scoring pass. The PAT missed, leaving the score 9-6 early in the second period.
The South stretched its lead when Milford’s Caleb Watson returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown. The PAT by Kristo Castillo (Nandua, Va.) made it 16-6.
The South pulled ahead 23-6 on the last play of the first half, a 17-yard keeper by Brandon Scholl (James M. Bennett) and another Castillo point-after.
The North gave up a safety — the second of the day, counting a waved-off intentional grounding penalty in the end zone in the first quarter — on the first play
of the North’s second possession following halftime. The third shotgun snap of the day to sail wide went out of the reach of North quarterback Green and out the back of the end zone, putting the score at 25-6.
Shyken Macobs (Arcadia, Va.) scored on a 2-yard run later in the third period for a 32-6 lead moments before the flakes began to fall.
A 1-yard Thompson keeper in the middle of the fourth closed the gap a little, to 32-13 following a PAT by Dru Walters (Kent County), but that was it. Gaglione’s second 35-yard boot came shortly thereafter, as the snow thickened.
Nosworthy, rushed for a game-high 82 yards on 14 carries, and was named the South’s offensive Most Valuable Player. The defensive honor went to Watson, who finished with four tackles, plus his fumble recovery and touchdown scored.
Thompson, who threw for one of the North’s two scores and ran in the other, was his team’s offensive MVP. The defensive honor went to Grayson Bekert (Northeast), who racked up 11 tackles, including two for loss.
Colonel Richardson’s Jordan Gabriel, a bruising fullback who’s been in the playoffs the last two autumns — the back-to-back postseason showings marking a milestone in program history — said there’s a lot he will miss.
“It’s been pretty good,” said Gabriel, who spent
Friday and Saturday going 9-0 in the 195-pound weight class to help Colonel’s wrestling team win the annual Andy Perez Memorial tournament at Cambridge-SD. “I feel like ... we did good during the regular season. And today, we went out and played hard.”
Looking forward, Gabriel added, “after high school, I want to play some college ball. I’m not sure where I’m going yet, but I want to continue playing football.”
North head coach Pat McGlinchey, who just completed his rookie year at Easton,
said it was all a pleasure. “When Jake (Coleman) initially asked us to run the offense and the other team to do the defense, and me to be head coach, I was excited. You get to work with the best (senior) athletes in the conference.”
As for the infusion of Anne Arundel, Henlopen, ESVA, and UCBAC squads, McGlinchey added, “I loved it, because ... last year we were really hurting on numbers, and we weren’t even at 30. So I liked the chance to expand the rosters, and to really get elite players out there.”
North Caroline’s Brendin “Buddha” Gestole (55) breaks through the line in search of a South ballcarrier during the first half of Sunday’s 11th annual Eastern Shore Bowl.