From a high school football talent perspective, central Ohio proved April 30 that its 2016 graduating class stacked up just fine compared to the rest of the state.

From a high school football talent perspective, central Ohio proved April 30 that its 2016 graduating class stacked up just fine compared to the rest of the state.

In the Divisions I-III game of the Ohio North-South All-Star Classic at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, there were 13 area players competing for the South and several made key contributions in the team's 49-26 victory.

Westerville Central running back Benny Snell was named the game's Most Valuable Player, Franklin Heights wide receiver Seth Dawkins was named the South's Offensive MVP and Central Crossing defensive lineman Kameron Teacher was named the team's Defensive MVP.

"First and foremost, the staff really jelled," said Upper Arlington coach Joel Cutler, who was an assistant on offense for the South under head coach Chad Grandstaff of Zanesville. "We felt really good about where we were from a chemistry standpoint. As a central Ohio coach, I was really proud of seeing the other central Ohio guys represented well by many players."

Dawkins, a University of Louisville recruit, got things started by returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, Olentangy quarterback Deeb Haber, who will play for Ashland, hooked up with Lima Senior's Ruben Flowers III for an 80-yard touchdown pass.

Snell rushed for the first of his three touchdowns in the second quarter as the South led 20-19 at halftime.

Dawkins caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Haber in the fourth quarter as the South pulled away.

"It meant a lot (to get game MVP)," said Snell, who will play for Kentucky. "I was able to represent my team well. It was really fun with us all coming from different high schools."

In addition to the skill-position standouts, both Cutler and Snell lauded the play of offensive linemen Gunnar Vogel (Westerville South), Luke Campbell (Olentangy) and Nate Brock (Olentangy Liberty).

While Campbell will play for Michigan State, Vogel is a Northwestern recruit who was asked to give a speech at the North-South banquet the night before the two all-star games.

Vogel talked during the speech about "our experience practicing as a team and how football can lead to really good things."

"My experience with Benny Snell has always been as an opponent, but to have him run behind me was a great experience," Vogel said. "I thought we represented Westerville really well. All of the other central Ohio guys (played well), too. Deeb Haber played lights out. Seth Dawkins started the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown, which really set the tone for the game, and he's also a great receiver. Luke Campbell and I played against each other in high school and will again in the Big Ten. He's a really tough player."

According to Cutler, Teacher and Liberty lineman A.J. Arcuri, another Michigan State recruit, were among the leaders on defense.

Snell, Vogel and Hamilton Township's Jake Long, a defensive back on his way to West Virginia, were among the captains for the South.

Also on the roster were four others who will compete collegiately in Walnut Ridge linebacker Malik Harrison (Ohio State), Pickerington North defensive back Trezden Johnson (Air Force), UA defensive back Tyrece Speaight (Miami University) and Worthington Kilbourne defensive back Josh Stoner (Air Force).

Anderson, Bair shinein small-school win

Division IV state champion Hartley had three players compete in the Divisions IV-VII game, including one who made a big impact in the South's 16-7 victory.

Rian Anderson, who began practice with the team as a wide receiver but later was moved to defensive back, had an interception and was named the team's Defensive MVP.

One of six players from the ThisWeek coverage area in the game, Anderson also had two tackles for loss, three pass breakups and didn't allow a catch.

Among the players he defended was Perry tight end Luke Farrell, an Ohio State recruit who he said also lined up at times at wide receiver.

"I came into the game for offense but they switched me to defensive back for the second practice," said Anderson, who will play for Ashland. "(Winning Defensive MVP) meant a lot. Everybody got along well. The good part was meeting new guys and building relationships."

The South led 13-7 and made it a two-score lead when Grandview kicker Benton Bair hit a 28-yard field goal in the final two minutes.

Also playing was Grandview linebacker Rhodes Jump, while Bobcats coach Jason Peters served as an assistant for the South under head coach Chip Otten of Coldwater.

"It was a pretty cool experience," Peters said. "Just being around the game of football is exciting in itself, but when you're with guys with so much ability, it was fun. Benton Bair kicked a field goal that put us up by nine and Rhodes made a bunch of tackles and did what he does."

Also playing in the game from Hartley were defensive back Richard Jones III, an Ashland recruit, and running back Quri Hickman.

Newark Catholic linebacker Wes Jurden also was on the South roster.

"(Jurden) did a really good job today and was a captain," Anderson said. "(Jones) also played defensive back along with me and had a couple pass breakups. Quri had some big runs and had a good game."


Team 1 2 3 4 Final NORTH
13 6 0 7 26 SOUTH
13 7 14 15 49

S-Dawkins 99 kickoff return (Barnett kick)

N-McCall 99 kickoff return (pass failed)

N-Rose 6 run (McKinniss kick)

S-Flowers 80 pass from Haber (kick failed)

S-Snell 2 run (Barnett kick)

N-Rose 7 run (kick failed)

S-Crosby 7 run (Barnett kick)

S-Snell 7 run (Barnett kick)

N-McCall 62 pass from Bodeman (McKinniss kick)

S-Dawkins 31 pass from Haber (Barnett kick)

S-Snell 2 run (pass failed)

S-Safety, Rose tackled in end zone

0 0 7 0 7 SOUTH
7 0 6 3 16

S-Brooks 30 pass from McIntyre (Bair kick)

N-Sadzewicz 40 pass from Necastro (Tingler kick)

S-Blue 1 run (kick failed)

S-Bair 28 FG