Fairfield County duo leads OCC to win in Central Ohio All-Star Game

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The OCC all-stars defeated the Central squad 15-0 in the annual Central Ohio All-Star Game

There’s not much love between Lancaster and Pickerington during the regular season. But on Saturday, standouts from both Fairfield County communities put aside their geographic and Ohio Capital Conference rivalries to score both of their squad’s touchdowns in leading the OCC to a 15-0 victory over the Central in the annual Central Ohio All-Star football game at Upper Arlington H.S.


There’s not much love between Lancaster and Pickerington during the regular season. But on Saturday, standouts from both Fairfield County communities put aside their geographic and Ohio Capital Conference rivalries to score both of their squad’s touchdowns in leading the OCC to a 15-0 victory over the Central in the annual Central Ohio All-Star football game at Upper Arlington H.S.

Golden Gales running back Georgie Carpenter and Pickerington North receiver Tyler Campbell both tallied first-half touchdowns.

Campbell, a 6-0, 190-pound speedster headed for Akron, hauled in a 49-yard bomb from Westland quarterback Kasey Wendal on the first play of the second quarter for the game’s first score.

He finished the game with a pair of catches for 78 yards and was named his team’s offensive MVP.

Carpenter, a 5-11, 210-pound Marshall University recruit and the son of LHS coach Rob Carpenter, capped the OCC’s next drive with a 6-yard sweep over the left side to make it 12-0. He wound up his squad’s leading rusher with 38 yards on 10 carries.

Both players grinned when asked about sharing the same huddle.

“We had a great time this week. It was a lot of fun,” Carpenter said. “Neither one of us were here for the stats.”

“Give credit to our line and our quarterbacks. They did a great job,” Campbell said. “I couldn’t have been the MVP without everyone else doing their jobs.

“It was a lot faster, a lot more physical than we saw during the regular season. Everybody here was the best of the best from their teams. It was a lot of fun playing against that kind of talent.”

“It was like every game – you hit them a couple of times and see which one of you gets up,” Carpenter added, smiling. “You just do your thing and see what happens.”

His smile grew even broader when asked about his scoring run, when he gave a little shout out at the defense as he turned the corner.

“I wanted to get in there pretty bad,” Carpenter said, laughing. “I just wanted to let them know I was coming and that they couldn’t stop me.”

The OCC went on to add a safety when Central All-Stars quarterback Sherman Moorer-Saunders of Columbus East was sacked in the end zone in the final minute of the first half. Strong defense, combined with numerous mental mistakes and penalties by both offenses, made for a scoreless second half.

Ironically, kickers turned in some of the best and worst plays of the contest. OCC placekicker Kevin Schneider of UA missed his first point-after attempt and later had a 25-yard field goal blocked. Central’s A.J. Principe of DeSales saw his 32-yarder in the third quarter fly wide.

By contrast, Golden Bears punter Rob Blevins put on a clinic. Three of his five boots ended up inside the Central 20-yard line and he averaged more than 50 yards per punt, including one that rolled 74 yards.

One of Schneider’s Gold Bear teammates, Joey D’Andrea, won OCC defensive MVP honors. He tallied two sacks in leading a unit that forced losses on 10 plays, intercepted a pass and stopped a long Central third-quarter drive at the 10-yard line.

“Our defense was awesome this week,” Campbell said. “We couldn’t do anything in practice against them … and that really prepared us for this game.”

Central defensive MVP Alexis Vaughn of Columbus South made his presence felt immediately, especially for the OCC’s Wendal. He sacked the Cougars QB for a 3-yard loss on the OCC’s first offensive play of the contest.

But Vaughn and his defensive teammates wound up spending too much time on the field to keep their opponents out of the end zone. The OCC wound up with 184 totals yards, including 100 yards rushing on 39 carries. Wendal, an Ashland recruit, and fellow signal-caller Robert Anderson of UA combined for 84 yards on 4-for-9 passing.

“We had a good week of practice, and we felt like we were really prepared for them,’ said Vaughn, who is headed for West Virginia State this fall. “But at the beginning, we didn’t play very disciplined.

“We came out with more intensity in the second half and shut them down. I feel like I played my heart out and left it all on the field.”

Bexley quarterback Jake Kastan was the Central offensive MVP. He completed 6 of 16 passes for 57 of his club’s 62 passing yards and was picked off once. He also had five yards on seven carries in a rushing attack than gained zero net yards on 25 attempts.

NOTEBOOK — The Central squad mostly featured players from the Columbus City League, Central Catholic League and Mid-State League … Saturday’s OCC victory was its second in a row. It snapped a four-game losing streak last year with a 34-6 win but still trails Central 4-3 in the series … Penalties were major headaches for both OCC head coach Woody Underwood of Reynoldsburg and Central mentor Brian Haffele of Marion-Franklin. Their clubs combined for 22 flags for 193 and players from both teams were ejected when tempers flared briefly in the second half … Westland’s Jeff Jones, the 2006 Ohio Co-Coach of the Year, was originally slated to lead the OCC team until he resigned his post in June.

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