Area players excel in North-South contest
DAYTON -- During a four-minute span in the first quarter of the Ohio North-South All-Star Classic's Division I-III football game April 27, Dublin Coffman High School quarterback James Walsh lost a fumble and threw an interception that led to 14 points.
The Boston College recruit, however, didn't let those rough moments get him down.
He later led the South on a scoring drive and came within a dropped pass of leading his team to another score in the fourth quarter.
Walsh was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the South, which lost 33-27 at Welcome Stadium.
"It just took a while to shake the rust off," Walsh said. "I just tried to clear my head at halftime and I thought I played pretty well."
Walsh wasn't originally on the team's roster released in February but later was added and participated in all eight practices.
He completed five of 13 passes for 70 yards and scored on a 1-yard run. With two minutes left and his team at the North 37-yard line, Walsh threw a strike to New Albany's Darron Lee near the goal line but Lee couldn't hang on.
Massillon Washington quarterback Kyle Kempt was 11-for-18 passing for 161 yards and three touchdowns for the North to earn game MVP honors.
His Massillon teammate, wide receiver Gareon Conley, an Ohio State recruit, had seven catches for 109 yards and three touchdowns to earn Offensive MVP honors for the North.
The other MVP honors also went to future Ohio State players.
For the North, Cleveland Glenville linebacker Chris Worley was named the Defensive MVP. He had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for losses.
Lee saw regular action at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back and was named the South's Defensive MVP. He had two rushes for 72 yards and three catches for 48 yards, and added an interception.
"It was a great time," Lee said. "Being in Division II in high school, you always want to see how you match up. This was a good measuring stick, and I know I've got some work to do."
Pickerington North's Godwin Igwebuike played defensive back for the South and had a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown to give his team a 21-14 lead.
"You get to play against a lot of great players," said Igwebuike, a Northwestern recruit. "A lot of these guys are stars of their high school football teams. There's just a lot of great talent. I think we showed that there's a lot of talent in central Ohio."
Hilliard Davidson running back E.J. Jennings rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Also seeing action on defense for the South were Gahanna's Granyl Smith (DL, 3.5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses) and Mitchell Rowell (LB, 1.5 tackles), Reynoldsburg's Emmanuel Beal (DL, 3 tackles), Olentangy's Ramal Iverson (DB, 1.5 tackles) and Coffman's Miles McCollum (DL).
"It's fun to see these kids compete at this level," said South assistant coach Mark Mueller, who recently stepped down as New Albany's coach.
South loses 27-24 in Division IV-VI game
Harvest Prep averaged 37.1 points last fall, but it lost to four of the five teams on its schedule that finished with winning records and went 6-4.
Zach Yousey, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound wide receiver and defensive back who shined against a schedule that featured opponents mostly from Divisions V and VI, made his mark against tougher competition during the Division IV-VI all-star game April 27 at Welcome Stadium.
Yousey, a Groveport resident who has signed with Toledo, had two receptions for 125 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown.
His South team lost to the North 27-24. He played little in the second half because of a hamstring issue.
"It felt great," Yousey said. "It's just about trying to make your mark."
Toledo Ottawa Hills kicker Michael Geiger was named Offensive MVP for the North after making two field goals, including a 56-yarder with 5:14 left that proved to be the game-winner.
Creston Norwayne's Brady Berger (TE) had five catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game's MVP.
For the South, Coldwater quarterback Austin Bruns was named Offensive MVP and Dayton Chaminade Julienne linebacker Darrien Howard was the Defensive MVP. Streetsboro linebacker Brandon Gency was the North's Defensive MVP.
Also competing for the South from central Ohio were Hartley's Jacob Matuska (DL, 3 tackles) and Marcellus Calhoun (DB, 4 tackles), Johnstown's Nick Sadinsky (LB, 1.5 tackles) and Newark Catholic's Kevin Bourne (DL, 1 tackle).
"It felt great being with the best players in Ohio," said Calhoun, who expects to play running back collegiately for Marist. "We play the best every week at Hartley, but it was a great experience going against big-name schools."
N--Conley 36 pass from Kempt (Brebant kick)
N--Holley 1 run (Brebant kick)
S--Jennings 3 run (Geraci kick)
S--Wolf 68 pass from Strock (Geraci kick)
S--Igwebuike 41 interceptions return (Geraci kick)
N--Brebant 27 FG
N--Conley 28 pass from Kempt (Brebant kick)
N--Brebant 29 FG
N--Conley 11 pass from Kempt (pass failed)
S--Walsh 1 run (kick failed)
N--Berger 23 pass from Peyakow (Geiger kick)
N--Berger 15 pass from Peyakow (Geiger kick)
S--Yousey 83 pass from Kinnick (Snodgrass kick)
S--Howard 2 run (Snodgrass kick)
N--Geiger 32 FG
N--Berger 23 pass from Loose (Geiger kick)
S--Snodgrass 38 FG
S--Howard 2 run (Snodgrass kick)
N--Geiger 56 FG