North wins annual all-star football classic
Palmerton’s Aaron Stasko plays defensive back during Thursday’s all-star football game. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS
Pleasant Valley’s Nasai Moon looks for some running room during Thursday’s all-star football game. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS
Lehighton’s Dakota Heister grabs for a water bottle during Friday’s all-star football game/MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS
NAZARETH — In any all-star game, exciting plays are expected to happen. After all, an all star game is created to showcase the best of the best facing off against each other.
On Thursday night, the 49th annual McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Football Classic lived up to its billing. Both teams aired it out on the turf at Nazareth’s Andy Leh Stadium in rainy conditions, combining for over 600 yards passing and 42 points.
It was a good night for the locals as well, as the Red team — which was compromised of players from Carbon, Lehigh and Monroe counties — snapped a three-game losing streak, defeating the Gold squad 28-14.
The story in this contest was the playmaking ability of quarterback Logan Edmond.
Edmond, a Southern Lehigh graduate who is headed to Gettysburg College in the fall, was electric with both his feet and his arm and made big play after big play to propel the Red to victory.
The senior went 14-of-18 for 268 yards and three scores, with none more important than a 4-yard scrambling touchdown throw to Allen’s Jaunte Williams with 3:51 remaining. That score would end up sealing the deal for the Red.
Edmond’s main target on the day was Whitehall’s Joe Herman, who torched the Gold defense by hauling in nine catches for 228 yards and a touchdown. Herman’s ability to catch the deep ball — and then make defenders miss — was unmatched throughout the game.
The Times News area was well represented, with six players from the region competing. Lehighton’s Zach Crum and Dakota Heister, Palmerton’s Aaron Stasko and Cody Waterhouse, Northern Lehigh’s Gage Hunsicker and Pleasant Valley’s Nasai Moon all had strong showings.
Heister, the Tribe’s defensive lineman, perhaps made the most impactful play of all the TN area athletes when he forced a fumble in the first quarter that was recovered by the Red team.
“It was the second play I was in, so the adrenaline was really pumping,” said Heister. “I was hyped.
“I saw that the tackle went down, so I filled the spot and then I chased down the quarterback and tried to strip the ball, and it came out. The whole experience was just amazing, getting to meet new people, new guys. It was a great time.”
Blue Bomber defensive backs Aaron Stasko and Cody Waterhouse were able to strap on the helmets one last time in the high school football ranks and play together in the defensive backfield. It was a special night for both of them.
The two were active as well with Stasko recording a tackle for a loss and Waterhouse breaking up a few passes.
“I grew up playing football with Cody since I was young,” said Stasko, who is heading to Millersville to play football. “It was just great to be out there with him, playing our last high school football game together. It was a great feeling.”
“Not only was it great to end my high school football career playing with Aaron, but it was also great meeting a bunch of new guys,” said Waterhouse. “We gave it everything we had out here tonight. We came in as underdogs, but we played hard and got the win.”
Pleasant Valley’s Moon is headed to Shippensburg in the fall to continue his athletic and academic career, but Thursday night was the perfect send-off for his high school career.
“I was honored to get picked to represent Pleasant Valley, and I had a really good experience,” said Moon. “I met a lot of guys, guys I didn’t think I would be friends with from other teams, but everyone was really cool. It was just nice to get a win. I don’t know if people expected us to win, but we came out and played well. It was a good night.”