CARTERVILLE -- A big comeback and a great finish.
After trailing by three touchdowns, a short run by Herrin's Jackson Yates ultimately provided the decisive points for the Red team to post a 33-28 win over the Blue team Friday night in the Southern Illinois All-Star Football Game at Carterville's Lions Field.
The Blue team built a 21-0 lead and had a 28-27 lead late in the game but ended up on the losing side of the scoreboard.
That lead for the Blue squad was provided by Du Quoin's Anthony Cole catching a 31-yard touchdown from Anna-Jonesboro's Conner Jerolds for the game's first point with 7:06 left in the first quarter, and then Fairfield's Reese Lee also catching a TD from Jerolds with 10:37 left in the second period.
In between, the Red team looked like it had a sure touchdown but Du Quoin's Shamar Adams stripped Carbondale's Austin Reliford at the goal line and the ball was recovered by Mt. Vernon's Nick Sursa.
Then the Blue team increased its lead before the half when Du Quoin's Josh Heape lofted a pass to Mt. Vernon's Nick Malone that he somehow caught and turned into a 65-yard score with 6:44 still left in the second quarter.
Yates got the Red team on the board by returning the second-half kickoff 95 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown, even with Cole riding him the final few yards.
Carbondale quarterback Jakeba Burleigh connected with his own teammate Javon Love for a 63-yard touchdown to bring the Red team closer, then Burleigh found another Terrier teammate in Reliford in the right corner of the end zone to put the Red up 27-21 with 3:41 remaining.
The go-ahead score came after the Red defense forced a punt that was blocked by Murphysboro's Maurice Valliant.
The Blue team put together a drive to go back on top and Anna-Jonesboro's Reid Morrison scored on a sweep to tie the game at 27. The first PAT kick missed but a roughing penalty awarded another try which Harrisburg's Zack Cowsert put a few inches over the crossbar for a 28-27 lead with 1:11 left.
That was plenty of time for the Red team, which went on its own march and scored with Yates going in from 4 yards with 21.9 seconds left.
Cole took the ensuing kickoff and tried to break to the left side but was brought down. A final trick play was fumbled and recovered by Carterville's own Colin Laczynski to seal it.
Du Quoin was represented by Heap, Cole, Milam and Adams. Representing Pinckneyville was Lucas Downard and Sean Allgire.