Originally created 07/20/00

Van Dora outshines Pinkins in North's victory



COLUMBUS, Ga. -- If South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz was watching the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South all-star football game at Memorial Stadium Wednesday night, he undoubtedly would have liked what he saw.

South starting quarterback Dondrial Pinkins, one of Holtz's prized recruits out of Mitchell-Baker High this season, electrified the crowd with his athleticism.

However, it was North starting quarterback Jeremiah Van Dora, who plans to walk on this fall with the Gamecocks, who engineered the North all-stars to an 11-7 victory.

"Dondrial still has the edge definitely," Van Dora said. "I guess I'll just have to wait until we get up there to show them what I can do."

Van Dora, who helped lead Hart County into the Class AAA state championship game this past season, was an all-state selection at quarterback by the Georgia Sports Writers Association. He was also a sharp punter, averaging over 40 yards per punt last year.

In Wednesday's game, Van Dora also had better statistics. He finished with 70 yards on five-of-10 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions. However, three sacks killed his rushing totals as he finished with five carries for minus-17 yards.

Meanwhile, Pinkins passed for 47 yards on five-of-13 while tossing two interceptions. He rushed six times for 13 yards.

"We weren't really here to see who was (the better quarterback)," Pinkins said. "We're trying to go to South Carolina and turn the program around, whether it's me or him. This was kind of like our first college game. We're just getting prepared for the next level."

Van Dora had marched up and down the field but had nothing to show for it until the fourth quarter when he hit two sizable passes over the middle, a 12-yard pass to Oconee County's J.T. Cape followed by a 17-yard pass to Creekside's Joey Steadman to highlight the drive.

Then on second-and-six from the South 18-yard line, game MVP Jerry Willoughby scored on an 18-yard run with 10:01 left in the game. On the extra point attempt, a botched snap was scooped up by Walton's Neal Waters who converted the loose ball into a two-point conversion for an 11-7 lead.

"I believe we wore them out there right toward the end," said Washington-Wilkes' Adam Thornton, who started at center for the North all-stars. Thornton along with Jerry Brown and Washington County's Tyler Biggins were the three representatives in the game from the Augusta-area.

"We just kept sticking it to them and we came out with a victory."

The South's offensive highlights came late in the second quarter. Former Charlton County star Kevin Davis used his speed on a busted kickoff to help set up his team's first score.

Shortly after the North used a 25-yard field goal from Villa Rica's Chris Price, Davis took a squibbed kickoff at his own 23 and returned the kickoff 49 yards, setting up the South offense with a first-and-10 at the North's 28-yard line.

From there, it took the South all-stars six plays before Glynn Academy running back Antwan Andrews scored on a seven-yard run on third-and-five to make it 6-3. After Atkinson County's Cornelius Mizell booted the extra point, the South led 7-3 with 5:56 left in the second quarter.

Biggins recorded several big tackles in the game for the South defense. Brown, meanwhile, also made his presence known, laying a big-time hit on Willoughby early in the game.

North 0 3 0 8 -- 11

South 0 7 0 0 -- 7

N -- Chris Price 25 field goal, 9:05, 2nd

S -- Antwan Andrews 7 run (Cornelius Mizell kick), 5:56, 2nd

N -- Jerry Willoughby 18 run (Neal Waters run), 10:01, 4th