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.
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.