East Penn Press

Monday, November 19, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Austen Kasaczun (78) blocks a Gold team player during last week’s McDonald’s All-Star Football Classic. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZEmmaus’ Austen Kasaczun (78) blocks a Gold team player during last week’s McDonald’s All-Star Football Classic.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus’ Grant Ritter (65), Austen Kasaczun (78), Matt Nimas (58) and Blake Reed (14) enjoyed being part of last week’s all-star game. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus’ Grant Ritter (65), Austen Kasaczun (78), Matt Nimas (58) and Blake Reed (14) enjoyed being part of last week’s all-star game.

Gold team wins McD’s All-Star Football game

Thursday, June 21, 2018 by Mike Haines mhaines@tnonline.com in Sports

Fans of all-star games expect a lot of offense. At last Thursday’s 48th Annual McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Football Game, there was a good bit of scoring, but most of it came from one side.

The Gold team, made up of players from Northampton County and Phillipsburg and Palisades High Schools, beat the Red Team (Lehigh, Carbon, Monroe counties) 35-7.

“It’s the last game of our high school career and it’s for a good cause,” said Emmaus offensive lineman Auten Kasaczun. “I would have liked to walk away with the win, but we’re out here and having a good time, putting on a show for people.”

Five Emmaus players were on the Red roster, including Kasaczan, defensive linemen Grant Ritter and Joey Barno, offensive lineman Matt Nimas and linebacker Blake Reed.

The Gold team hit on a few big pass plays, starting with a 71-yard strike from Javon Clements (Bethlehem Catholic) to Edie Olsen (Easton) for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Alston Wolfe (Saucon Valley) put the Gold ahead 14-0 with a one-year touchdown run with 3:39 left in the first quarter. Easton’s Scott Poulson (6-for-7, 169 yards, 2 TD) hit Christian Drayton (Bethlehem Catholic) with a 7-yard touchdown strike for a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Wolfe became the third Gold quarterback to throw a touchdown pass when he hit Olsen with a 10-yard pass for a 27-0 lead with 7:14 left in the first half.

The Red team was on the doorstep twice in the first half, driving to the one-yard line and the 20-yard line on it’s final two possessions of the first half. Both drives ended with interceptions.

The Gold team tacked on another score when Poulson hit Eddie Hay (Bangor) with a 75-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.

The Red got on the board with 8:54 left in the game when Quidanie Vega (Dieruff) found Miguel Hernandez (Catasauqua) for a 66-yard touchdown pass.

The game allowed players from different schools to come together after spending years battling one another on the gridiron.

“It was great,” said Kasaczun. “Playing people from different schools, maybe some rivalries but we all walk off as friends. To play with these guys instead of against them, it was a great experience.”

The real winners in the game were Ronald McDonald House Charities, which the game benefits.

“Some of my favorite games from my high school career were the cancer benefit games, said Kasaczun. “So to play for a cause like this is wonderful.”

Kasaczun, a Second Team All-EPC offensive lineman, is moving on to play at Franklin and Marshall College in the fall.

Nimas, a Second Team All-EPC offensive lineman will play at Moravian College, along with Reed. Ritter will see his former teammates on the field at least once a year for the next four years as he will play at Muhlenberg College next year.