OSHKOSH — A movie-quality ending to Adam Moen’s prep football career was laid out in front of him.
After throwing a pick-six in the third quarter, the South Small All-Star team’s offense took over at the 50-yard line trailing by three and Moen had a chance to author a comeback at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
After completing a pass on a fourth down to extend the drive, the Lake Millis quarterback faced a fourth-and-2 from the North 30. He tried a quarterback run between the tackles, but was stopped short and the North Small squad won the WFCA All-Star Game 17-14.
Despite the bitter end, Moen said he felt like playing against some of the best players in the state is a good springboard for his football career at UW-Stout.
“This opportunity that I had today, it’s amazing,” he said. “Not only the football aspect, but to fundraise for the Children’s Hospital, it’s a big honor.”
Saturday’s game was the end of a standout prep career for Moen, who was the Associated Press All-State first-team quarterback last fall. Moen threw for 8,117 yards and 89 touchdowns in three seasons for the L-Cats, marks that rank third and fourth, respectively, in state history.
The skills that make Moen an intriguing college prospect were on display against the North.
The South put together its first sustained drive late in the second quarter with Moen attacking the North defense with option runs and quick screens. His 18-yard touchdown pass to Edgerton’s Konner Knauf — who came free on a well-run post route — tied the game just before halftime. It was the first of two scoring catches for Knauf, a Dordt University recruit, who bonded quickly with Moen when they learned they’d be teammates.
“I was really excited (to play with Moen) seeing the numbers that he’s put up in his career,” Knauf said. The North pulled ahead with a field goal midway through the third quarter and then a Moen pass went high off the hands of a receiver and into the arms of Oshkosh Lourdes’ William Pollack, who returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.
Stout’s been looking for a game-changer at quarterback for the better part of the 2000s. The Blue Devils haven’t had a first-team All-WIAC quarterback since 2004 and haven’t finished in the top two in passing in the league in the past eight seasons.
Stout has a returning senior starter in Sean Borgerding, but the rushing threat Moen poses could help him reach the field earlier than some may expect. Clayt Birmingham and the Blue Devils’ staff took note of the 2,114 yards and 43 touchdowns Moen added on the ground during his prep career.
“They’ve told me they’re looking to have me run and pass, so I’m excited to see what they’ve got for me,” Moen said.
Defenses dominate large-school game
Yards and points were hard to come by in the second game of the night, featuring players from WIAA Divisions 1-3.
The teams combined for four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble — in the first half, with each team committing two. Monroe quarterback Max Golembiewski threw one of the interceptions on a rushed attempt of a screen pass.
Golembiewski’s second interception of the game resulted in its only points, with Kimberly’s Damon Loker returning the pick 27 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to score the only points in the North’s 7-0 win.
Adebogun sits out
One of the best players named to the all-star games wasn’t on the field.
Edge rusher Ayo Adebogun — a powerful 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who was named to the North Large roster — is working out on campus during the University of Wisconsin football team’s summer program and didn’t play.
Adebogun was an AP All-State first-team selection and the Tim Krumrie Award winner as the state’s top senior defensive lineman. He tallied 16 sacks as a junior and 7½ sacks in eight games as a senior.
“We love what he can do in the pass-rush game,” UW defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said of Adebogun. “Just continually growing into his body, but the athleticism is quite high. That’s what’s got us very excited about him.”