INDIANAPOLIS — Offensive and defensive linemen don’t get the ball in their hands very often, but in Friday’s North-South All-Star Classic, both Columbus players on the South squad had it in the game’s final six minutes.
Columbus North defensive tackle Coleman Tennyson had the first crack. With the score tied 14-14, he scooped up a North fumble at the North 27 with 5:41 remaining.
“My feet are too big,” Tennyson said. “I tripped over my own feet. I think I could have scored. It was a quarterback trying to tackle me, so it would have been an easy touchdown.”
Unfortunately for the South, it couldn’t convert, and the North drove for the winning touchdown with 14.8 seconds left to take a 21-14 lead.
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But then Columbus East offensive tackle Jared Clark had a chance with the ball. After the South’s Al McKellar (Lawrence North) returned the kickoff near midfield, the South had one final play.
South quarterback Chase Andries (Beech Grove) threw a pass to McKellar, who took it to the North 35 before lateraling to Clark. Clark took a few steps with the ball before lateraling the ball again, and the South was tackled to end the game.
“I just wish I could have done something with it,” Clark said. “I tried my best. I have to work on my juke move, so I have to work with Al over here and learn some of his running back techniques.”
Both Clark and Tennyson started for the South. Clark was in the game for two long South scoring drives that gave it a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The North came back with two second-quarter touchdowns to tie the game at 14 at halftime. It remained that way until the closing seconds.
Clark played nearly the entire second half at right tackle. Tennyson rotated in at defensive tackle.
“It was a fun week,” Tennyson said. “It wasn’t really about winning or losing. I really liked going to Camp Riley and interacting with the kids. It was a good experience, so overall, I’m happy.”
Tennyson will continue his career at Tiffin (Ohio). Clark will play at Hillsdale (Michigan).
The North’s win was its third in a row in the series.
“Games don’t always go the way we want them to,” Clark said. “But this entire week was just a great experience, a lot of fun, working with some of the best guys in the state. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”