Red tops Gold in annual McDonald’s Classic
Northampton’s Hunter Werkheiser and Nate Bendekovits truly cherished the moments and the overall experience with the recent 49th annual McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Football Classic at Nazareth’s Andrew S. Leh Stadium.
The senior linemen along with Kids’ running back Ethan Deater represented the Gold team – comprised of players from Northampton County, Phillipsburg and Palisades – that lost to the Red team - players from Lehigh, Carbon, and Monroe counties - 28-14, as the Red team claimed its first victory in the series since 2015.
“Playing in this game was unlike any other for me,” said Werkheiser, who will attend Widener University in the fall. “It was a different experience than any other football game.
“The game has kids that are the best around, and it showed in the game. We had to jump over the adversity and work together to get the job done. For me and other kids this is OK because we are going to face this same adversity when we go to college.
“Even though we didn’t win, we played our hearts out. I will never forget this game and the friends I made in the process.”
Bendekovits, who will continue his career at Moravian College in the fall, also will remember his experience.
“It was amazing,” he said. “Being able to raise money for a great cause all while paying football for one last time in high school was great. It was cool to meet and talk to all the kids we played against over the years.
“There was a pretty good crowd out there and being under the lights one more time was a great feeling. I enjoyed creating new friendships with my teammates. Although the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, it was a fun game and was glad we all did it and be a part of the whole experience.”
Bethlehem Catholic quarterback Zamar Brake was one of three Golden Hawks on the roster along with linemen Dom Italiani and Skyler Sutton. Brake completed 7 of 11 passes for 124 yards, 59 of them on a touchdown pass to Notre Dame’s David Sanders that knotted the game at 14-14 at halftime.
Also scheduled to play were Javonte Haynes (LHS), Rontay Dunbar (FHS), Jakub Szemiako (FHS), Damon Moyer (LHS), Jaden Freeman (LHS), Michael Warner (LHS), Camren Curry (FHS).