PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Neshaminy lineman Dan Shirey will certainly have some of the rust shaken off when he reports to football camp this summer at Villanova.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound center played in the first of two all-star games in yesterday's Northeast vs. New Jersey game at Rutgers Stadium.
New Jersey won, 13-7, when Verona linebacker and Notre Dame recruit Carlo Calabrese intercepted a pass and lateraled it to Florida recruit Josh Evans of Irvington. Evans returned the lateral 74 yards for a touchdown as time expired.
The Northeast team consisted of players from Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Washington, and New Hampshire.
Shirey, an Inquirer all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection on defense, was at center yesterday, the position he expects to play at Villanova.
On June 20, he will participate in the Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey, Pa., when Pennsylvania takes on Ohio.
"This is good training for me when I go to Villanova," Shirey said.
He liked everything about yesterday's game, with the exception of the final score.
"I thought we should have won," he said. "They had that play at the end, and that's just football."
Shirey was in familiar company. One of the assistant coaches on the Northeast team was Neshaminy head coach Mark Schmidt. Neshaminy defensive end Jay Colbert, who is headed to New Hampshire, was also on the team. Colbert contributed two tackles.
With the score tied, 7-7, the Northeast was marching until Calabrese's interception and lateral.
An anxious observer was Northeast kicker Brandon McManus of North Penn, who is headed to Temple. McManus was hoping for a chance at a game-winning field goal.
"I didn't have the best of games, so I was hoping to redeem myself," McManus said.
McManus missed two field-goal tries but made a conversion kick and averaged 35.5 yards on four punts.
Like Shirey, he would have liked to win the game, but he enjoyed the experience, especially spending time with the Northeast's head coach, former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. (Former NFL quarterback Phil Simms was the head coach of the New Jersey team.)
"It was such a great experience meeting all these players and getting to be with Joe Theismann," McManus said.
Among the other highlights, Penn State recruit Justin Brown of Concord, Delaware, was the game's leading receiver with seven receptions for 71 yards.
Northeast QB Marcus Wasilewski of Pennsylvania's Mount Carmel High completed 18 of 23 passes for 150 yards. Headed to Maine, Wasilewski threw a 24-yard TD pass to West Virginia recruit Deon Long of Dunbar High in Washington.
Pittsburgh recruit Ray Graham of Elizabeth scored New Jersey's other touchdown on an 8-yard run.
Northeast 0 7 0 0 - 7
New Jersey 0 0 7 6 - 13
NE: Long 24 pass from Wasilewski (McManus kick)
NJ: Graham 8 run (Evangelista kick)
NJ: Evans 74 yard interception return (time expired, no kick)