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Lake Erie's Howard Provides Only Score in All-Star Game

Lake Erie's Howard Provides Only Score in All-Star Game

By John Kampf

Full story with video:

UPPER ARLINGTON — One more shot — that's all Tony Howard wanted.

With the score tied at zero and less than two minutes remaining on the clock in the first Senior Bowl at Upper Arlington High School, Lake Erie College's senior running back wanted one more shot.

As he stood in the North team's huddle during a time out, Howard pondered if this in fact was going to be his last career football game. If it was, he wanted it to end with a bang.

It did.

Three bangs, to be exact.

Howard carried the ball three straight times, finally plunging in from the 1-yard line with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining to give the North the only score of the game.

The North defense had to stop South four times inside the 10 yard line to preserve the win. But when the pass from Wittenberg's Aaron Huffman fell incomplete, Howard ran onto the field in jubilation and celebrated what could be his last career touchdown in his last career game.

"Oh definitely, that was a great way to go out if this is it," said Howard, who carried the ball eight times for 68 yards. "It was a great feeling. I felt I was running the ball well, and I knew if they gave it to me, I was going to make something happen."

The North squad took possession with 1:38 on the clock at its own 44. An offsides penalty moved them near midfield, setting up a 33-yard pass down the sideline from Mount Union quarterback Kurt Rocco to teammate Vince Petruziello — a Lake Catholic product.

"We were supposed to run a razor comeback route," said Petruziello of the pass that put his team on the 18. "(The defensive back) was pressing me, so I just gave (Rocco) the arm up that I was going past him and I made a good play on the ball.

After Rocco hit Ohio Northern's Justin Lindzy on a six-yard pass to the 12, Howard blasted into the line three straight times to finally get the score.

"We got close a few other times," Howard said, "but couldn't punch it in. To get one there at the end was huge."

The game was hardly over, though. After a long kickoff return and a 33-yard pass from 7 to 33, the South found itself on North's 7 with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

Four straight passes into the end zone from Huffman fell incomplete.

“I was excited, really," said John Carroll defensive end and Cardinal graduate Ken Bevington, who played a pivotal role for the North, especially on the final four plays. "It was nice to take it to somebody and hit one more time."