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North Squad Tops South In Rotary Football Classic
Putting in work for the North was running back Brad Aquino. Shown is Aquino, 25, blocking for his quarterback during the first half of the game. Photo Courtesy Of Mary Hackbarth

For those who needed a “Friday Night Lights” fix, they had the chance to make their way to Merced for the 31st annual North/South Rotary Bob Green Football Classic on Friday night, June 24. Both sides of the stands were full at Veterans Stadium to watch local high school football players clash in the All-Star game.

The teams were divided by sections. The North team consisted of players from the San Joaquin Section that included four players from Oakdale. Representing the Mustangs were kicker Lane Trapp, safety Robby Bagley, running back Brad Aquino and wide receiver Greg Hickman. Along with members from the Mustangs, the North consisted of players from Central Catholic, Hilmar, Escalon, Merced, Patterson, Turlock and Pitman, just to name a few. The boys in blue led from start to finish in the North’s 29-7 victory.

In the win, the North jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to a sack by Bagley on the South’s opening possession. Bagley finished the game with six tackles, one sack and a near interception. Oakdale’s Trapp, who did not practice during the week due to an ankle injury, provided the team with a total of five points, two point after touchdowns and drilled a 32-yard field goal late in the third quarter. The North’s air attack was on point as Oakdale’s Hickman pulled in five catches for 38 yards, all in the first half. Aquino was used as a primary blocking back and had a few carries in the game.

The North team led the game 13-7 at the half and tacked on 10 more in the third to go up 23-7 headed into the fourth quarter, closing out the game with a final touchdown in the fourth for the 29-7 victory.