ALL-STAR WEEK: Gable, Ray, Glasscock represent the North in 60th annual North-South All-Star Football Game

Cullman's Seth Gable and Oscar Glasscock joined Addison's Hayden Ray on the North sideline during Thursday's North-South All-Star Football Game. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – There was a big local presence in the Cramton Bowl Thursday night as Addison’s Hayden Ray joined Cullman’s Seth Gable and Oscar Glasscock on this year’s North team. Gable got the start at free safety for the North while Ray started the game at center. Glasscock served as the defensive line coach on the North coaching staff.

After a scoreless first quarter, the South All-Stars threw a touchdown pass on the first play of the second to take an early 7-0 lead. After blocking a punt, the North ran one in a few plays later to tie things up at 7. The South offense drove the ball inside the North’s 30-yard line with less than a minute to play in the half but a 46-yard field goal attempt from the South fell short of the uprights as the quarter expired and the first half ended with both teams knotted at 7 apiece.

The North received the kick to start the third quarter and marched all the way down inside the South’s 10-yard line before punching one into the end zone with just over five minutes remaining in the third. The extra point was blocked but the North took a 13-7 lead midway through the quarter. The South answered quickly with an explosive running play that got them down to the 2-yard line and after being held out on three straight snaps, the South ran one across the goal line on fourth down. The following extra point gave the South a 14-13 advantage with just under four minutes to play in the third.

The North retook the momentum early in the fourth quarter when a short punt was returned 22 yards for a touchdown and after a failed two-point conversion attempt, the North held a 19-14 lead early in the final period. Unfortunately for the locals on the North sideline, the South offense moved in front for good with a 31-yard touchdown pass and after a successful two-point conversion, the South pulled away to win a tight one, 22-19.

Gable was a late addition to this year’s All-Star Game, making the trip to fill a spot for a player already reporting to his college team. When he got the invitation, Gable was excited to take advantage of the opportunity.

“It was crazy man. It was like last minute because of some other players already moving to college so I was like ‘Why not?’. I get to keep the jersey,” Gable said. “We had a few flags and didn’t get what we wanted but it was fun.”

Gable is preparing to start his college playing career at Birmingham-Southern College this fall and after tonight’s game, he’s ready to start working on some of the things he picked up throughout the week.

“Some of the coaches taught me some new techniques and some new drills and I just have to get stronger and start running,” Gable smiled. “I’m out of shape.”

Despite coming up just short in this year’s All-Star Game, Ray was thrilled to be part of this year’s North roster and represent the Bulldogs.

“Man, I’ve just been completely honored. I can’t tell you the last time Addison had a player down here and to be the first one in a long time really means something, I’m really blessed.”

When asked what he will remember most about his trip to Montgomery, Ray’s answer came quickly.  

“All these friendships that I’ve made,” Ray smiled. “We came together in four days and become a tight knit group for a team. I’m going to carry these friends for a long time, for a lifetime.”

Coach Glasscock was thankful to be included in this year’s All-Star game and what he enjoyed the most about the week in Montgomery was interacting with a new group of players and coaches.

“It was a fantastic week, I really enjoyed it. The big thing you’re reminded of is there are great people everywhere,” Glasscock said. “Great kids, great coaches and it’s just been a pleasure to work with these kids and these coaches that I got to work with. It was definitely a memorable experience.”

Something that stood out to Glasscock as one of the coaches for this year’s North squad was the excitement some of the players felt for getting one last chance to strap it up and play the game they love. Glasscock wants to pass that on to his senior Bearcats when he gets home as many of them prepare to start their final season of football.

“I think especially for the seniors; you know a lot of these guys thought their football career was over. I’d say probably about half of them are going to play college football, so for some of them this really was their last game,” Glasscock said. “They had a ball and they had a chance to wear the helmet one more time and I think I’d like to bring that back to my seniors and tell them ‘Hey man, this is your last chance, have fun’. These kids had fun, they worked hard, and they played hard, but they also had fun and all of them are extremely glad that they had the chance to play this great game.”

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