By that point, however, the South was merely piling on. Delande's TD
gave his team a 43-7 lead (the extra point was missed) after the
South ran out to a 30-0 first-quarter advantage built on the strength
of plays made by a slew of never-to-be-Buckeyes.
First there was Centerville's Tyler Replogle, a linebacker who
preceded his career as an Indiana Hoosier by returning an
interception 10 yards for a touchdown Saturday night.
Next West Chester Lakota West linebacker Alex Kaufman sacked
Alliance's Charles Babb in the end zone for a safety.
From there, Kaufman's future Miami (Ohio) teammate Chris Givens took
over. The Chillicothe product turned a five-yard out pattern into a
29-yard touchdown reception from Middletown's Skylar Jones. On the
South's next possession, Givens out-jumped William Sheeler of Canton
McKinley in the end zone for a 27-yard score from the arm of Smith.
Jones his headed to Wake Forest, while Smith is bound for Marshall.
The latter touchdown was set up when St. Henry's Andy Puthoff
recovered a fumble one play earlier. The former Redskin will soon be
a Ball State Cardinal.
The final volley in the South's opening-quarter barrage came again
from the defense. Cincinnati Moeller linebacker Greg Jones
intercepted a pass from Ryan Ottney of Fremont Ross and the future
Michigan State Spartan returned it 26 yards to pay dirt.
In summation, the explosion made South defensive end Solomon Thomas,
a Lakota West graduate who will enroll at Ohio State Monday, roughly
a .333-hitter in terms of pregame prognostications.
While his declarations at the start of practice that the South would
win and "Southwest Ohio will represent" turned out to be true thanks
to the plays of Replogle, Kaufman and both Joneses, the Ohio State
contingent did not exactly shine like Thomas predicted.
"You can zone in on Cincinnati, so I'm happy for those guys," Thomas
said after the game. "I'm happy they did their thing, it's just I've
kind of got a bitter taste in my mouth [because I was] wanting to
tear stuff up."
Despite Thomas' disappointment, overall sentiment indicated the lack
of standout plays from future Buckeyes was simply a product of the
quality of players throughout the state.
"These guys on all these teams are all-stars," Delande said. "Some
guys are going to Big Ten colleges besides Ohio State, so there's
great competition here. They're all going to different levels, but
there's some really good players here."
South coach Kevin Fell agreed.
"Ohio State doesn't make too many mistakes," he said of the
contingent of future Buckeyes that also included Rocco Pentello of
Westerville South on the South squad and Jermale Hines of Cleveland
Glenville and Nate Oliver of Lakewood St. Edward for the North.
"They're great kids - they fit right in," Fell said. "First of all,
our kids respect a kid going to Ohio State because they all probably
wanted to go to Ohio State. Maybe (Greg) Jones didn't because he's
going to Michigan State, and Replogle's going to Indiana, but those
kids were probably recruited by everybody."
The performance of the group of future Buckeyes as a whole likely
would have been more impressive if not for the absence of standouts
Brandon Saine of Piqua, Daniel "Boom" Herron of Warren Harding, Dane Sanzenbacher of Toledo Central Catholic and Devon Torrence of Canton
South. All three were on the initial game rosters but missed the game
because of various extenuating circumstances.
But no matter who they are, the future wearers of those shiny silver
helmets are hard to miss.
"Ohio State boys, they definitely have got a little knack to them,"
Fell said. "We also had Bo Delande walks on, and he plays pretty good
football, too. So they're not hurting for guys. But you have to be
impressed with guys like Chris Givens. He steps out there on the
field the first day of practice and I say, 'He's the best kid we got.
I can see it now.'
Givens, selected the game's most valuable player after a six-catch,
123-yard day that included two touchdown catches, said his northern
detour to Columbus before heading to Oxford was not about proving
himself to anybody. He simply hoped to continue to improve, something
he felt he accomplished.
"I just want people to realize some people that go to bigger schools
aren't the better players than some of the people who are going to
Wayne State or West Liberty," Givens said. "Those guys are sometimes
better than the other guys. It's just a lack of exposure."
Before Delande's touchdown catch, the contributions from future
Buckeyes consisted mostly of a couple of big hits by Pentello and a
nice open-field tackle by Oliver on punt coverage.
Though the North had few stars as it was trampled by a final score of
50-7, Oliver was named his team's defensive MVP. He turned in a pair
of eye-catching kick returns, although one was ended abruptly at the
North 39-yard line by a hard hit from Pentello.
Fell said Pentello, a former college quarterback slated to play
safety at Ohio State, was a bit of an enigma prior to the game
because practices were non-contact and they had never seen him in
action on the defensive side of the ball.
"All week we're going, 'I don't know how fast he really is,'" Fell
said. "But the first big hit of the game was his. The second big hit
of the game was his."
Thomas' main contributions were a couple of quarterback hurries. He
combined with Greg Jones for a sack but also committed a 15-yard
"Rocco had some good hits and Nate had some good returns, but me and
Jermale, I'm sorry to say, we were average," he said. "We were
average players. We both tried hard. We both practiced hard but we
were both average players in this game."
The last future Buckeye to win game MVP honors was Angelo Chattams, a
wide receiver from Dayton Chaminade-Julienne who helped the South to
a 20-7 win in 2001.
Since then MVP honors have gone to Cleveland St. Ignatius quarterback
Nate Szep (who was headed to Washington University-St. Louis) in
2002, Columbus Walnut Ridge receiver Ernie Wheelwright (Minnesota) in
2003, Clayton Northmont receiver Ro Grigsby (Kansas State) in 2004,
Akron Hoban running back Tyrell Sutton (Northwestern) in 2005 and
Mentor Lake Catholic quarterback Rick Stanzi (Iowa) last year.