BELLVILLE — Konner Moore and his linemates were in their comfort zone Friday at the Colt Corral.
An imposing 6-foot-5, 270-pound tackle from Colonel Crawford, Moore helped plow the road for fellow Eagle Tristan Cross and a host of other shifty ball carriers as the South stars held on for a 21-14 win over the North in the 35th North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Clear Fork’s Colt Corral.
GALLERY: North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic
The 35th North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic was held Friday at Clear Fork High School's Colt Corral. The South team, coaches by Lucas' Scott Spitler, beat the North 21-14. (photos by Curt Conrad, staff reporter)
The South squad was coached by Lucas mentor Scott Spitler, who is renown throughout Ohio for his unique run-centric offense. Not surprisingly, the South didn’t attempt many passes Friday.
“It’s an offensive lineman’s dream,” said Moore, who was selected the game’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. “We had two amazing backs at Colonel Crawford, so we ran the heck out of the ball. I felt right at home tonight.”
The South took an early 3-0 lead on a 26-yard field goal by Galion’s Dominic Pittman on the opening series. But the North answered when Ashland’s Ethan Hartley rumbled in from 3 yards out for a 7-3 lead with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.
The South stars answered when quarterback Wilson Frankhouse of Galion hooked up with Marion Elgin’s Carter Andrich on a 23-yard scoring strike to make it 10-7 in favor of the Blue with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The North answered when Mapleton’s Bryar Ramey bulled in from 3 yards out with 11:05 remaining in the second quarter to make it 14-10, but that would be all for the North. A 38-yard field goal from Pittman cut the North’s advantage to 14-13 with 6:47 to play in the first half.
The South forced a three-and-out on the North’s ensuing possession, setting up what turned out to be the biggest play of the game. Clear Fork’s Ashton Lyon fielded a punt off the foot of Crestview’s Ross Kuhn at his own 22-yard line, eluded one would-be tackler with an ankle-breaking cutback and raced all the down to the North 16-yard line.
The 62-yard punt return set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Cross to give the South a 19-14 lead with 4:48 remaining in the second quarter. South quarterback Ethan Snyder of Ontario scampered in for the two-point conversion run and the South led 21-14.
“I heard one of my teammates say, ‘Go left,’ so I took off left and just looked for gaps,” Lyon said of his game-changing return. “I got down there and I started to run out of gas, so I just lowered my shoulder.”
The defenses took center stage in the second half as neither team scored. The North marched deep into South territory midway through the fourth, but Kuhn’s fourth-down pass from the South’s 5-yard line fell incomplete with 7:27 remaining.
The North then iced it when Clear Fork’s Brady Tedrow rushed for a first down on fourth-and-short with about two minutes remaining.
“We had a great group of kids and they did everything we asked of them,” Spitler said. “They kept it light and fun and then they went out and did a great job tonight.
"It was just a privilege to coach them.”
The North team was to be coached by Ashland’s Sean Seder, but he missed the game because of illness. Ashland assistant Cayleb Cox filled in for Seder.
“This was an awesome experience,” Cox said. “I was just trying to have fun with the kids and let them make plays.”