For Anthony Finissi, the Central Ohio All-Star Football Game last Saturday not only marked the last time he would represent the Upper Arlington High School football team and take the field at Marv Moorehead Memorial Stadium, but the final time he would play the sport.

For Anthony Finissi, the Central Ohio All-Star Football Game last Saturday not only marked the last time he would represent the Upper Arlington High School football team and take the field at Marv Moorehead Memorial Stadium, but the final time he would play the sport.

Finissi, a safety who will be attending the University of Denver but has no plans to play football, made the most of his last game, intercepting three passes to help the OCC defeat the Central Stars 31-6.

"This was my last game ever, so I was glad to have a good showing," he said.

Finissi, who made special mention all-district and honorable mention all-OCC-Central Division last season, intercepted Eastmoor's Alex Coleman in the third quarter. On the ensuing possession, the OCC scored on a 23-yard pass from Hilliard Darby quarterback Brandon Bargar to Gahanna wide receiver Brandon Magbagbeola to extend its lead to 28-6.

Finissi intercepted two more passes in the fourth quarter, including one with six seconds left.

Despite Finissi's performance, Thomas Worthington linebacker Michael Brankamp, who had 11 tackles and recovered a fumble, was named the OCC's defensive MVP. The voting was held before Finissi's third interception.

Thomas coach Scott Gordon, whose staff coached the OCC, was surprised that Brankamp was named MVP.

"I was wondering about that," he said when told about the timing of the voting.

UA, which finished 10-2 and lost to Pickerington Central 24-16 in a Division I regional semifinal last season, had seven players on the OCC roster, making it the most represented school on either roster.

Also selected for the game for the Golden Bears were running backs Tommy Farwick and Isaac Wildermuth, linebacker Wade D'Andrea, cornerback Noah Krimm, defensive lineman Nat Kell and center Kacy Yuhas. Farwick, who rushed for 1,157 yards and scored 10 touchdowns last season and was named district Offensive Player of the Year, recently underwent surgery on his left wrist and was unable to play.

"I feel like our season is the reason we had so many people," said Wildermuth, who rushed for 1,074 yards and scored 12 touchdowns last season and made second-team all-district and all-league. "We had a really good season."

Wildermuth, who has signed to play at Valparaiso (Ind.), a Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as I-AA) school, led the OCC in rushing, gaining 81 yards on nine carries, and caught one pass for 31 yards. He scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter to put the OCC ahead 21-0. He nearly had scored on the previous play, running for 49 yards before being tackled by Independence's Sam Smith at the 1.

"That's what I had my sights on," Wildermuth said, referring to the end zone. "But the guy made a nice play. He chased me down. I'll still take 49 yards. That's cool with me."

Krimm, who made first-team all-district and all-league last season and has signed with Princeton, and D'Andrea, who made honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league and will play at Otterbein, each had three tackles. Kell, who made special mention all-district and first-team all-league and will play at Denison, had two tackles, including a sack.

Yuhas, who made first-team all-district and all-league, has signed with Davidson (N.C.).

Anthony Finissi intercepted three passes to help the OCC squad to a 31-6 victory over the Central.

Isaac Wildermuth ran for 79 yards and one touchdown on nine carries and also caught one pass for 31 yards.


Darby's Bargar loses coin flip, wins MVP

Tails never fails.

That was the phrase that Hilliard Darby High School quarterback Brandon Bargar used to fuel his strategy when he guessed at a coin-flip in the days leading up to the Central Ohio All-Star game last Saturday at Upper Arlington.

Bargar, who led Darby last season with an effective blend of running and passing, was one of two potential starting quarterbacks for the OCC All-Star team, which downed the Central All-Stars 31-6. Either Pickerington Central quarterback Nick Raymond or Bargar could have been the starter for the team, which was comprised solely of players from the Ohio Capital Conference. OCC coach Scott Gordon agreed that a coin-flip should decide the starter.

Bargar called tails and it came up heads.

As the loser of the coin-flip, Bargar started at wide receiver against a Central team made up of players from the CCL, City and MSL leagues.

With the game scoreless in the first quarter, the OCC drew first blood when Raymond threw a lateral to Bargar at receiver. Bargar then launched the ball to Pickerington North tight end Alex Bayer, who was left alone by the defense, for an 80-yard touchdown. The play produced the game's first points with 1 minute, 59 seconds left in the quarter.

"It could have been Nick (throwing that pass)," said Bargar, who also considered returning kicks. "I knew that whoever didn't start was going to get the reverse pass."

Bargar factored heavily in the game plan and was offensive MVP for the OCC. He completed five of eight passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed twice for 12 yards and had a 6-yard catch.

"We had two quarterbacks that were great players," Gordon said. "We said we were going to run that double-pass in the first two series. We had a chance to and (Bayer) was all alone out there."

Raymond also had a productive day. He was 5-for-9 passing for 54 yards and also rushed seven times for 16 yards and punted twice for a 40.5-yard average.

The Central Stars had one quarterback on the roster in Walnut Ridge's Alvin Busbee, although Eastmoor Academy's Alex Coleman also lined up under center. The Central had trouble mounting an aerial attack and finished the first half with 1 yard passing.

Central's main attack was Walnut Ridge running back Brandon Rice, who rushed 16 times for 72 yards to earn his team's offensive MVP.

Central's strategy was to use Rice in the power running game inside and Busbee on speed runs to the outside, but for most of the game the OCC defense was ready for it. Busbee finished with 52 yards rushing, including a 20-yard run in the first quarter, on seven attempts. He also completed six of 10 passes for 19 yards.

"We didn't spread them out much," Busbee said. "They did a good job of spreading us out. We kept it tight most of the time and it made it easier for them to stay at home. They weren't really going for any of the fakes."

Thomas Worthington's Michael Brankamp was the OCC defensive MVP with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. The announcement drew ire from the OCC team. Anthony Finissi, a defensive back from Upper Arlington, intercepted his third pass of the game in the final seconds.

Also having a strong game for the OCC was Upper Arlington's Isaac Wildermuth, who rushed nine times for 79 yards, including a 49-yard run in the third quarter in which he was tackled at the 1-yard line. He scored on the next play to help make it 21-0 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

Olentangy Liberty's Allen Eggleston scored on 2-yard run with 9:40 left in the second quarter. Gahanna's Brandon Magbagbeola, who led the OCC in receiving with 48 yards on three catches, scored on a 23-yard touchdown reception with 2:40 left in the third quarter to make it 28-0.

Olentangy's Ryan DiSabato kicked a 37-yard field goal with 8:19 remaining to go to end the scoring.

Central scored its lone points on a 10-yard touchdown run by Rice early in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 28-6. Jordan Ross, who played for Independence, also had 55 yards rushing on four attempts for the Central, which was coached by Allan Jones of Independence.

Central leads the series 5-4 since the new format was adopted in 2001.