RIVERBANK — Steve Silva spent much of the football season lowering his helmet and driving through defenders, piling up rushing yards in Escalon High's wing-T attack.
The strategy produced 1,268 yards and 24 touchdowns, allowing Escalon to dominate the clock most of the season.
He'll get a final opportunity to trample foes tonight when he leads the North into the 18th Small School All-Star Game at Riverbank High. It has some of the top players from the Stanislaus District's five small-school leagues.
Silva is likely to team with Argonaut's Dan Welch (1,375 yards, 19 TDs) to keep the ball moving on the ground, chewing up yardage and the clock.
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The strategy paid off for the North a year ago, when Escalon's Charley McDonald ran for 184 yards in a 38-22 win.
Escalon's Spencer Franceschetti is the best of the quarterbacks and has a target in Bret Harte's Anthony Ballard (24 catches, 18.2 yards, 6 TDs).
The South is counting on a few kids from the smallest of the district's schools in Ripon Christian quarterback Tyler Voogd (964 yards, 7 TDs) and Big Valley running back D.J. Plichta (823 yards, 9 TDs).
Riverbank's Aaron Thurman is coaching the South, with Brookside Christian's LaTef Grim running the North.
The rosters will be filled with players from the Trans-Valley, Mother Lode, Western Athletic, Southern and Harvest Christian leagues.