CARSON -- Donte Deayon entered Sunday's Prepstar California Classic All-Star Game at Home Depot Center as one of the many marquee names in attendance. The senior from Fontana Summit played well, of course, and proved much of the pregame hype was worthy.
The 5-foot-9, 160-plus pound defensive back gave opposing quarterbacks fits throughout. Deayon finished with a pair of timely interceptions -- the second pick was returned for a 78-yard touchdown -- to guide the South to a 38-20 victory over the North in a showdown pitting some of greater Los Angeles' premier players from the Southern Section against each other.
“This was my last high school football game, my goal to make some big plays and prove that I belong out there on the field with some of the best players right here in California,'' said Deayon, who earned most valuable player honors.
“I was feeling good because I worked hard during practice earlier in the week. Sometimes, you know when things are meant to be. For me, I knew it was on when I was warming up. I was confident. No one was going to stop me from handling my business.''
Trailing 17-0 in the second half, the North rallied behind Cody Tuttle. The 6-3, 225-pound senior receiver from Westlake, who is committed to Nevada, scored a pair of touchdowns, a 4-yarder and 14-yarder, to cut into what appeared to be an insurmountable lead for the South.
Any hopes of completing the improbable comeback, however, were ruined by Deayon late in the fourth quarter. The Boise State-bound playmaker stepped in front of a pass from Moorpark's Grant Rohach and took off down the sideline, nearly the length of the field, for the victory-securing score. Deayon's teammates, accordingly, mobbed him in the end zone afterward.
Jamal Williams, also from Summit, gained a game-high 55 yards on five carries for the South, which included a 3-yard touchdown run. His backfield counterpart, Hepseria Oak Hills' Marshaun Coprich, scored on a pair of short-yardage runs, a 2-yarder and a 3-yarder.
“They threw in my direction once, everyone saw how that turned out, and when they came at me the second time, I wanted to make them pay,'' Deayon said. “I jumped the route, snatched the ball and had open field in front of me. It was time to turn it up, take the ball to the house. I wasn't going to get caught from behind. My focus was on scoring a touchdown.''
With Deayon essentially occupying one whole side of the field, Rohach was forced to focus his efforts elsewhere. The strategy worked out well as the Iowa State commit completed 16-of-29 passes for 258 yards. Newhall Hart's Timothy White scored on an 80-yard touchdown catch.
For the North team, the highlights were few and far between otherwise. Deayon lived up to his advanced billing. And then some.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.