Taylor Wood said he enjoyed every moment of the Ohio North-South Classic on June 20.

Taylor Wood said he enjoyed every moment of the Ohio North-South Classic on June 20.

It didn't matter that the 2009 Delaware Hayes High School graduate played quarterback for the South, which lost 49-7.

"Yes, it was obviously frustrating to be on the wrong side of the score, but truthfully, it was just so exciting to be part of the game and to play in Ohio Stadium," Wood said. "That was always a dream of mine and probably, a dream of every player in that game. So to get to experience that, and spend a great week of practice getting to know some of the guys, it was all enjoyable."

But not being able to showcase his talents was atypical for Wood, who completed 100 of 189 passes for 1,827 yards and 21 touchdowns with five interceptions last fall when the Pacers made their first playoff appearance and finished 7-4 . Wood also had 808 yards and seven touchdowns on 159 rushes last season and was second-team all-state in Division I.

"Sometimes things like that happen in all-star games," said Wood, who also set a Delaware record for career passing yards with 3,252. "It doesn't necessarily mean they had that much more talent than we did. When you only have a week to put in an offense, if you're not on the same page or it's too complicated to jell in just a week, it can look bad and I think that's what happened. Our blocking schemes didn't work against them, and they controlled the line of scrimmage both ways. There was a whole lot of heat on us every time we went back to pass."

The South's only touchdown came on a 95-yard kickoff return from Tyrell Massey of Marion-Franklin that made the score 28-7 in the second quarter of the nation's longest-running high school all-star game. The 42-point margin was the largest in the game's history, breaking the mark set in 2007 when the South won 50-14. North leads the series 38-23-3.

Wood was one of 11 players from central Ohio on the South team, joining Blaine Burgess (Pickerington Central), Will Carter (Johnstown), Adam Castin (Pickerington Central), Greg Christo-Baker (Licking Valley), Mike Hilty (Olentangy Liberty), Max Holbrook (Pickerington Central), Zac Kerin (Olentangy), Massey, Kurt Sammons (Johnstown) and Josh Suchecki (Hilliard Davidson).

Jay Sharrett of Pickerington Central coached the South and Johnstown's Mike Carter was an assistant.

Hilty was the South defensive MVP, with Massey earning the offensive MVP honor.

What pleased Wood most was that he was able to influence Sharett to change some play-calling in the fourth quarter.

"I talked him into letting me run some quarterback isolations and we quickly put together a solid drive, our best of the game," Wood said.

In that drive, South reached the North 11-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

Wood's final game for the Pacers came against Sharrett's Central squad in the first round of the playoffs. Wood threw for 218 yards but the Tigers won 38-21 and advanced to a state semifinal before losing to Cincinnati Elder 24-10.

"(Sharrett) said I looked good, calm and cool in the pocket and that my throwing mechanics looked better," Wood said. "That was good to hear and gives me some confidence moving forward."

Wood is on scholarship at Eastern Kentucky but accepted a gray-shirt.

"I won't start school until January, so that's when the scholarship kicks in," Wood said. "They had a quarterback graduate last year and they have two younger quarterbacks who they didn't think would be ready this season, so they had gone out and brought in a transfer from South Florida last season who will be a senior this year. They asked me if I wanted to gray-shirt and I thought it was a great idea because I get a whole extra year to prepare. It's what Todd Boeckmann did at Ohio State."

In the meantime, Wood will spend a year on the coaching staff at Delaware and continue working with Matt D'Orazio, who was the 2008 MVP for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. D'Orazio is a graduate of DeSales and Otterbein.

"My Eastern Kentucky coaches love the idea of me helping to coach at Delaware," Wood said. "They said that would allow me to see the game from a whole different perspective. I'm excited about it because I'm looking forward to helping Kody Akers. He's so athletic, and I think I can help him in the passing department. I'm also excited to be working with D'Orazio because he's been to numerous NFL tryouts and has me doing drills that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady taught him."