North All-Stars shine in 63rd Annual Classic, top South 31-9

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North-South Classic MVP Ryan Radcliff

The North squad reclaimed bragging rights for the next year in the 63rd Annual Ohio North-South Classic downing the South 31-9 Saturday at Ohio State’s Ohio Stadium.

JJHuddle.com was on hand and has more from the game.


The North squad reclaimed bragging rights for the next year in the 63rd Annual Ohio North-South Classic downing the South 31-9 Saturday at Ohio State’s Ohio Stadium.

Sherwood Fairview quarterback Ryan Radcliff threw for 219 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a score in leading the North squad to a 31-9 win over the South in the Ohio North-South Classic.

Radcliff, a Central Michigan recruit, completed 15-of-21 passes and earned Most Valuable Player honors.

“The (MVP) award is pretty much the team’s award,” Radcliff said. “The linemen blocked amazing out there. I think I got touched only one time. Everyone did their job. It’s everyone around me, not just me.”

The North avenged a 50-14 throttling last year and it marks the team’s third win in the last four years of the series. The North holds a 36-23-3 advantage dating back to the game’s inception in 1946.

The North scored on its first possession as Radcliff connected with Euclid wide receiver Devon Jennings on an out pass from the South 12-yard line. The score put the North up 7-0 with 7:28 remaining in the first quarter.

The North got on the board again early in the second quarter on fourth and goal from the South 1-yard line as Youngstown East running back Salvador Battles took the direct snap into the end zone giving the North a 14-0 lead.

Mentor kicker and Pittsburgh recruit Kevin Harper connected on a 30-yard field goal with 5:02 left in the second quarter to stretch the North’s lead to 17-0. That's how it stood at halftime.

The South turned the ball over on downs on its first possession of the second half giving the North the ball on the South’s 36-yard line. After a pass interference call put the North on the South 21-yard line, Macedonia Nordonia quarterback Aaron Pankratz laid a pass up in the end zone for Jennings who made an acrobatic catch to put the North up 24-0.

The South finally lit up the score board with 3:07 left in the third quarter on a 50-yard field goal off the foot of Gallia Academy kicker Nick Stevens. The kick capped off a 71-yard scoring drive.

Down 24-3 the South got the ball back (due to being down more than 20 points) and capitalized, scoring with 11:51 left in the game. Harrison Central quarterback Robbie Davia (Akron) hooked up with Olentangy tight end Kenny Anunike (Duke) for a 22-yard touchdown strike. The Stevens PAT clanked off the right upright and the North held onto a 24-9 lead.

Radcliff finished the scoring on 1-yard touchdown run off a bootleg with 7:38 left in the game. The South threatened late but an Ebert pass to Anunike on fourth and goal from the North’s 2-yard line fell incomplete.

“We were hungry,” Versailles and North head coach Bob Olwin said following the traditional Gatorade bath. “I thought we did what we came here to do. We hung together as a group and played with great effort.”

Anunike was named the offensive player of the game for the South with three catches for 76 yards and the touchdown.

“I came in playing defense and I don’t know how I ended up getting offensive player of the game,” he joked. “It’s really good.”

South’s Walt Stewart of Teays Valley earned defensive player of the game honors for his team while Jennings was named the North offensive player of the game. Andrew Schaetzke of Toledo St. John’s brought home defensive player of the game recognition for the North.

This year marks the first time the prestigious Ohio North-South Classic was played at Ohio Stadium since 1976. The game had been played at Columbus’ Crew Stadium the last seven years. The Horseshoe will host the game for the foreseeable future, the OHSFCA announced.

“It was a great venue for the game and everyone was gracious hosts,” Olwin said. “(The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association) did a great job with the game. It was just an outstanding experience.”

From Crew to ‘The Shoe’

This year marks the first time the prestigious All-Star Classic was played at Ohio Stadium since 1976. The game had been played at Columbus’ Crew Stadium the last seven years.

“It was a great venue for the game and everyone was gracious hosts,” Olwin said. “(The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association) did a great job with the game. It was just an outstanding experience.

It was announced at Saturday’s game that the Classic will remain at ‘The Shoe’ for the foreseeable future.

Oh Captain, My Captain

North captains for the game included Radcliff, Solon linebacker Steve Greer, Toledo Central Catholic offensive lineman Eric Herman and Hudson defensive back Alex Gedeon.

South captains included Anunike, Ebert, LaSalle linebacker J.K. Schaeffer and Colerain offensive lineman Evan Davis.

 

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