NEW MIDDLETOWN - The south contributed to the victory up north.
Jefferson County was represented by nine players and the Ohio coaching staff in the 33rd Annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic Football Game held June 29 at Springfield High School.
Indian Creek and Steubenville each were represented by three players, and the Redskins' coaching staff led by head coach Andrew Connor made up the coaching staff for the Buckeyes.
Indian Creek’s Mark Ludewig heads for the end zone as Edison’s Shane O’Brien and Lisbon’s Zac Barnes block during the Penn-Ohio Game June 29. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
In the end, all of the participants from Jefferson County played a key role in Ohio's 19-7 victory.
"It means a lot," Connor said about the victory. "The congratulations part of this will be to the kids, because they went out and they earned this. I thought they put in two-hard weeks. They played very physical at practice. We conditioned hard, and I think it prepared us for the third and fourth quarters.
"It was a grueling game. It was kind of like everyone just lined up and played smash-mouth football. There was a little bit of passing here and there, and I think our kids handled it well.
"I thought they were bigger than we were, and I thought we handled that. We did the two things we stressed all weeks; we played physical and we played fast, and I thought that helped us wear them down."
Player wise, the Redskins were represented by quarterback David Kemp, running back Mark Ludewig and lineman Frank Ward. Big Red was represented by linemen Michael Constantine and William Houst and linebacker LeShawn Luke.
Catholic Central, Edison and Toronto were all represented by one player. Defensive end Joe Fallon represented the Crusaders. Running back Shane O'Brien represented the Wildcats. Lineman Aaron Thompson represented the Red Knights.
Kemp, Houst and Luke were three of the four captains on the Ohio team. The captains were selected based solely on a players vote.
Ludewig and Houst scored touchdowns in the game. Ludewig's 1-yard run tied the score at 7 in the second quarter. Houst's 3-yard score gave the Buckeyes a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
"That's a great thing. That is just the way it worked out. Like I said, I just thought the main part of this game was the physical nature of us being able to stop them when we had to stop them defensively. They had the one big throw, the one big play. The kid made a great catch. It was well defended by us. Then basically in the second half, I thought you had us trying to wear them down with our running game and controlling the clock and keeping the ball away from them."
At halftime, Luke, Fallon and were announced as two of the four winners of the Quad County Coaches Association Scholarships. The scholarships are worth $500.
O'Brien finished the game with a game-high 87 yards on the ground. O'Brien's 43-yard run in the third quarter set up Houst's touchdown.
O'Brien ended up being named the MVP for Ohio, and Houst was named one of the Buckeyes' Linemen of the Game.
"Ah, it was a great experience," Connor said. "I would tell anybody that Larry Baughman does an absolutely tremendous job with game. All of the coaches from the Quad-County Coaches Association, what a class-act organization that is. The coaches do a great job.
"It was an honor to coach the kids. It is a great organization to be a part of, and like I said it was just a great feeling for me for the first time out at an all-star game to have the kids respond so well and play so hard for me."