South dominates North 50-7 in annual Classic


Chris Givens

The South all-stars jumped on the North for a 30-0 first-quarter lead and cruised to an easy 50-7 win in the Ohio North-South Classic before 5,070 Saturday night at Crew Stadium. Steve Helwagen was on hand and has the details.

Left: Game MVP Chris Givens of Chillicothe

COLUMBUS – The South all-stars jumped on the North for a 30-0 first-quarter lead and cruised to an easy 50-7 win in the Ohio North-South Classic before 5,070 Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

Chillicothe’s Chris Givens, headed to Miami (Ohio), had touchdown grabs of 29 and 27 yards in the first quarter for the South. Givens, named the game MVP, ended up with six catches for 123 yards.

“On the North side, you had some great athletes like Nate Oliver and LeBron Daniel going to some big-time schools,” Givens said. “But all week, the South team was very loose. We were into each other and got along with each other very well. I guess that was the outcome of the game.”

“My goal was just to go out there and help my team win. I don’t get into, ‘Hey, he’s a big-time guy.’ We’re all big-time guys or we wouldn’t be here.”

The South feasted on five North turnovers — including three interception returns for touchdowns – in posting the most lopsided win in the history of the series. The North ended up minus-4 in total offense net yards, including minus-95 in rushing.

“It was our defense,” said South coach Kevin Fell of Wapakoneta. “Chris Givens made those big plays early. Then we had three defensive touchdowns. Our offense went against that defense all week in practice and we didn’t gain a yard. It’s frustrating, I am sure, when you’re trying to run an offense and you can’t do anything.”

Centerville’s Tyler Replogle, an Indiana signee, had a 13-yard interception return to give the South a 7-0 lead with 10:39 left in the first quarter.

West Chester Lakota West’s Alex Kaufman, a Miami (Ohio) signee, then sacked North quarterback Charles Babb of Alliance in the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 lead with 8:17 left in the first quarter.

Middletown’s Skylar Jones, a Wake Forest recruit, then converted a fourth-and-9 predicament with a flanker screen to Givens. Givens went down the left sideline to complete a 29-yard touchdown to put the South up 16-0 with 4:04 left in the first quarter. Jones ended up 5 of 6 passing for 60 yards and a TD.

Things went from bad from worse for the North as the South capitalized on a North fumble. That miscue led to South Point’s Chris Smith tossing a 27-yard TD pass to Givens for a 23-0 lead with 52 seconds left in the first quarter. Smith, who ended up 5 of 6 passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns, will play college football at Marshall.

Two plays later, Cincinnati Moeller’s Greg Jones, a Michigan State signee, stepped in front of a pass from Fremont Ross’ Ryan Ottney. Jones returned the interception 17 yards for another South touchdown and a 30-0 lead with five seconds left in the first quarter.

The North finally broke through midway through the third quarter as Babb threw deep down the middle to Elyria’s Dan Noble. The Toledo-bound Noble caught the ball in traffic and carried defenders with him into the end zone for the 47-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 30-7 with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

Just as the North found some momentum, the South came up big again. Ottney was flushed and tried to fling the ball away. But Fairborn’s Josh Copeland notched his second interception. Copeland, a Buffalo signee, returned this one 26 yards for a touchdown and a 37-7 lead with 3:26 left in the third quarter.

The South poured it on with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Smith hit Hilliard Davidson’s Bo Delande with a 27-yard touchdown pass with 4:28 left. Delande plans to walk on at Ohio State.

“That was exciting to score a touchdown in a game like this,” Delande said.

Pickerington Central’s Jordan Jarell, headed to Central Michigan, capped the scoring with a 70-yard TD run with 1:46 left.

The Ohio North-South Classic, sponsored by Grange Insurance, is in its 62nd year. It is the nation’s longest continuously running high school football all-star game. This eclipsed the North’s 32-0 win in 1982 as the most lopsided game in the history of the rivalry.

Despite the defeat, the North maintains a 36-23-3 lead in the all-time series.

Four Ohio State signees played in the game. Westerville South’s Rocco Pentello and West Chester Lakota West’s Solomon Thomas were on the South side. Lakewood St. Edward’s Nate Oliver and Cleveland Glenville’s Jermale Himes were on the North team with Oliver netting the North defensive MVP award.

Here were observations from those OSU signees:

* Hines’ take on the game — “This is not the result anybody would have liked, but it was just a blessing to be here. It was a fun game with a lot of banging.”

* Hines on enrolling at Ohio State — “I’m very excited. I’m probably not going to sleep tonight as I venture off on my own and grow up as a man.”

* Thomas, who had one sack and several pressures, on his play — “I got a couple pressures, but I was very unpleased with the way I played. I’m a great competitor. It just gives you something to work for.

“The defense had a great week. I could tell during the week that our defense showed our coaches and our offense something great. It wasn’t a shock for me.”

* Oliver, who never gave up despite the score and ended up with roughly seven tackles — “You can only do so much and then it’s on them. I just tried to make plays when I could. We didn’t make enough plays to win, but I still loved being a part of this game.”

* Pentello on the South’s play — “It was definitely exciting. Our front seven, they were just dominant. All week we saw them in practice. We knew they were going to come out and do that, but I didn’t know it would be like that.”

* Pentello on his game, which included at least five tackles, a big hit on a pass break-up and two returns for 30 yards — “I didn’t have the best game I could have. We had to play cover-zero the whole game. That kind of limits us from doing a lot of things, like dropping into coverage and coming up for run support. It was more of a showing for the front seven. I think I definitely showed I could come up and hit people.”

Box Score

Grange Insurance Ohio North-South Classic
June 16, 2007

Columbus Crew Stadium

North                 0        0          7          7         7         
South               30        0          7          13        50

Final Box Score

North 0 0 7 7 7
South 30 0 7 13 50

First quarter
SOUTH – Tyler Replogle (Centerville) 12 interception return; Aaron Bates (New Concord John Glenn) kick, 10:18; SOUTH – Alex Kaufman (West Chester Lakota West) sack for safety, 8:17; Chris Givens (Chillicothe) 29 pass from Skylar Jones (Middletown); Bates kick, 4:04; Givens 27 pass from Chris Smith (South Point), Bates kick, 52.5; Greg Jones (Cincinnati Moeller) 26 interception return, Bates kick, 5.5.

Third quarter
NORTH – Dan Noble (Elyria) 47 pass from Charles Babb (Alliance), Brandon Walker (Findlay) kick, 5:45; SOUTH – Jose Copeland (Fairborn) 26 interception return, Bates kick, 3:26.

Fourth quarter
SOUTH – Bo Delande (Hilliard Davidson) 27 pass from Smith, Bates kick missed, 4:28; SOUTH – Jordan Jarrell (Pickerington Central) 70 run, Bates kick, 1:46.


Passing – North: Ryan Ottney (Fremont Ross) 2-11-43-4; Charles Babb (Alliance) 1-5-48-1. South: Chris Smith (South Point) 5-6-111, 2 TDs; Skylar Jones (Middletown) 5-6-60, 1 TD.
Rushing – North: Joey Winters (Columbiana) 4-2; Morgan Williams (Canton McKinley) 7-(minus 1); Ottney 2-(minus-9); (Babb 10-(minus 87). South: Jordan Jarrell (Pickerington Central) 6-73; Tamawi McGhee (Steubenville) 5-22; Bo Delande (Hilliard Davidson) 2-5; Skylar Jones (Middletown) 3-(minus 3); Chris Smith (South Point) 3-(minus-10).
Receiving – North: Dan Noble (Elyria) 1-47; Brandon James (Mentor) 1-31; Paul Hershey (Fremont Ross) 1-7. South – Chris Givens (Chillicothe) 6-123; Bo Delande (Hilliard Davidson) 1-27; B.J. Reed (Wapakoneta) 1-10; Trey Masciarelli (Bellaire) 1-6; Brandon Ramsey (Middletown) 1-5.

Grange Insurance MVP – Chris Givens (Chillicothe)
South Offensive MVP – Chris Smith (South Point)
South Defensive MVP – Josh Copeland (Fairborn)
North Offensive MVP – Dan Noble (Elyria)
North Defensive MVP – Nate Oliver (Lakewood St. Edward)

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