Melrose's Park leads North to victory
RUIDOSO — Record-breaking Melrose wide receiver Harvey Park was named the North’s offensive player of the game after scoring four touchdowns Saturday in a 36-28 win over the South in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association’s six-man all-star football game at W.D. Horton Stadium.
Park, who set the six-man national record with 29 TD catches this season, hauled in five passes from Floyd’s Chance Chenault for 165 yards.
Park grabbed a 23-yard TD pass from Chenault two minutes into the game, but the South answered with three straight scores. After he pulled the South even by returning a kickoff 65 yards, Tatum’s Art Castro Castro threw a 31-yard TD pass to Jacob Eubank and, following an onside kick, ran 30 yards for a score to stake the South to a 20-8 lead with 5:10 left in the quarter.
The South did not score again until less than two minutes remained.
“The kids got on a roll, and they played great defense,” said North coach Dickie Roybal of Melrose. “That was the difference in the game.”
Park also caught scoring passes from Chenault covering 61 yards in the second quarter and 12 and 45 yards in the third period.
Chenault finished the night 9-of-21 through the air for 221 yards, with two interceptions. The North’s only other score came on a 14-yard fumble return by Magdelena’s Broc Burton.
For Park and Roybal, it was a small measure of revenge for the Buffaloes’ three losses last fall — all at the hands of Tatum, including a 57-40 loss to the Coyotes in the six-man state finals in November.
Tatum coach Jarrod Sowder, six of his players and Coyotes assistant Jay Nelson were members of the South squad.
“It was fun,” Roybal said. “It was fun to finally beat Tatum. Their coaching staff was saying they were going to beat me again, but luckily that didn’t happen.”
Both teams had 12-man rosters, but the South played with 11 because Melrose’s Callie Clark had to return home before the game due to a death in the family.