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CLEARWATER — Lakewood receiver Marquez Valdes’ goal was to make it to the Class 5A state title game.
That did not happen.
The Spartans lost in heartbreaking fashion to Robinson in the region semifinals.
But even though Valdes’ season ended on low note, his prep career finished on a high one.
Valdes, playing in the Pinellas Senior All-Star football game Wednesday night, had three catches for 98 yards and a touchdown to lead the South to a 23-20 victory over the North.
For his performance, Valdes was voted the game’s most valuable player.
“It was my last high school game and my last one playing with all my friends here,” Valdes said. “I knew I had a big game in me. I just had to go all-out.”
The biggest deep threat on the field, Valdes’ score in the first half breathed life into the South, which rallied in the second half to win.
Valdes said he has 18 college offers, including Louisville and Minnesota. He said he is taking a recruiting trip to Houston this weekend but has yet to set up any more trips.
The defensive MVP was Northeast linebacker Auggie Sanchez, who returned a fumble for a touchdown that gave the South a 20-13 lead in the third quarter.
Largo’s Harry Brown, who recorded two sacks for the North, was the defensive line MVP. Countryside’s Brandon Pertile, who committed to Georgia State this week, was the offensive line MVP. Dunedin running back Tramaine Batten, who had several big runs, was the offensive MVP.
Recruiting updates: Pinellas Park offensive lineman Eric Hampson, who played for the South, picked up his first offer this week from Elon. … USF is starting to make a push for Largo quarterback/defensive back Juwan Brown, who played for the North. … Clearwater Central Catholic defensive back Mike Stevenson also is getting interest from USF. He chose to skip the game.