DAYTON – Saturday was a big one for Mike Fell. He made history – repeatedly.
The president of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association, Fell oversaw the first two-game spread in the history of the nation’s longest high school all-star football game. The 68th annual Ohio North-South Classic featured Division I-III and IV-VI offerings at another first – Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.
Locked in conversation during the big school game, Fell’s pocket provided another dose of deliriousness – and the most powerful. His phone rang.
“That’s where we wanted!” Fell said with a scream that sent him six-feet off the sideline turf. “Love that! Love that!”
On the other end? Miami of Ohio quarterback Zac Dysert.
Fell’s former player at Ada High School had just been drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. His high school coach was the first one he called.
Saturday was that kind of day.
On many fronts.
Enter Nick Holley.
Less than 24 hours before kickoff, the Toledo Whitmer senior and Kent State recruit learned that his mother had passed. He was informed at Friday night’s banquet.
“She had some (personal) stuff going on,” Holley said. “It was a long process.”
Holley is a quarterback. His response? Play.
“I’ve faced a lot of questions today…’Is your head in it?’… ‘Do you want to play?’…‘What are you going to do?,” Holley said. “There was no doubt. I know she’d want me to play, so I did. I dedicated it to her.
“It was emotional.”
Holley carried the ball a game-high 11 times for 68 yards and a touchdown.
The North won the D I-III game 33-27.
The North won the D IV-VI game 27-24.
Both were competitive.
Both couldn’t have been scripted better.
In the Big School game, the North led 14-0, allowed 21 straight points and then rallied from a halftime deficit to win.
Massillon teammates Kyle Kempt (QB) and Gareon Conley (WR) hooked up for three TD passes en route to winning game MVP and team offensive MVP honors, respectively.
Both will play for OSU next fall – Kempt at Oregon State and Conley at Ohio State.
Norwayne’s Brady Berger (Akron) obliged.
In the D IV-VI game, Berger caught three TD passes, too.
Ottawa Hills kicker Michael Geiger (Michigan State) decided it on a 54-yard game-winning field goal.
The only twist?
The games were delayed an hour because Welcome Stadium was double-booked.
The Special Olympics had a track meet at the venue and the event ran an hour past its allotted time.
No one complained.
Ohio and Michigan WILL play an all-star football game in 2014.
That kind of weekend.