Wheelwright leads South to 24-17 win

Buckeye fans tuned in to tonight's Ohio North-South All Star game to get a glimpse of a few future Buckeye players. We got just that... and we also got a big glimpse of a player who could be dominating the Big Ten on an opposing team. Columbus Walnut Ridge WR Ernie Wheelwright put in a great performance tonight as he led the South to victory over the North, 24-17.

The North struck right away as Warren Harding's Mike Kokal (Miami-OH) hit Toledo Central Catholic's Ryne Robinson (also headed to Mia-OH) for a long TD pass.  The North picked off a Brady Quinn pass on the second play of the following drive, and then shortly after, Curt Lukens was hit for a 27-yard TD strike, making it 14-0 North in a hurry.

The South started coming back on the next drive, largely due to the first of several long catch-and-runs by Columbus Walnut Ridge WR Ernie Wheelwright (Minnesota). Kenton QB Ben Mauk (Wake Forest) fired a strike to Wheelwright, who ran down the sideline to the one-yard line.  The South couldn't punch it in, but a field goal by Zanesville's Jordan Lear (Cincinnati) made it 14-3.  Later, Mauk would hit Wheelwright again, this time for a 26-yard TD to cut it to 14-10. 

The North later extended the lead to 17-10 on a Brian Pierce 37-yard field goal, but the South tied it up right before the half as Brady Quinn hit Wheelwright for an 18-yard TD strike.  Wheelwright's dominant first half (6 catches, 179 yards, 2 TD) played a big role in the South coming back to tie it at 17 at the half. 

Late in the third quarter, Quinn and Wheelwright would hook up one last time for a 9-yard TD strike, giving the South the 24-17 lead.  The North had two late deep drives, but they could not score on either one, and the South held on for the victory.  Wheelwright was clearly the player of the game after catching 8 passes for 215 yards and three TDs.

Ohio State was represented by DL Brandon Maupin on the South and WR/CB Tony Gonzalez, LB Curt Lukens, OL Kirk Barton, DL David Patterson, DL Steve Fender, and K Brian Pierce on the North.  WRs Dareus Hiley and Devin Jordan were originally slated to play for the North but did not due to injury.  Each player showed good things and have bright futures.  Regarding non-OSU players, Wheelwright, Quinn and Mauk each looked good, and Wheelwright looked like a player who could step in right away and make a big impact for Minnesota. 

The game will be replayed tonight on the Ohio News Network at Midnight and Sunday on the Ohio News Network at 2 pm EST.

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