INDIANAPOLIS — The tone was set with the first pass from quarterback Zach Terrell.
Unfortunately for Terrell and his North football all-star teammates, it wasn’t good.
The Homestead graduate’s initial attempt Friday was intercepted and returned for a touchdown as the South won its second straight in the series 16-7 at North Central.
“You can’t make every play on the field, and you have to respond,” Terrell said. “I thought we did a good job of responding. … There were just too many plays that hurt us.”
Terrell threw the ball into the flat on a timing route, but it ended up in the arms of South defensive back and Avon graduate Lance Magee, who returned for a 20-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
“It was a great play by the defender,” Terrell said. “There was nothing I could do about it.
“That gave the defense a lot of momentum. The guys were very encouraging, and no one got their heads down. We knew we had the capability to win, but we just didn’t make enough plays.”
Terrell, who has been at Western Michigan beginning his college career for five weeks, finished 2 of 7 for 14 passing yards. He also ran for a team-best 37 yards on 12 carries.
“I am a perfectionist, and this is by far not perfect,” Terrell said of his performance. “But I was playing in a system I had never played in before and with guys I had never played with before.
“I am just happy I got the opportunity to play in this game.”
South pushed the margin to 16-0 at halftime.
“We made some mistakes early on, and not to make excuses but you have a week to prepare, and you throw a lot at them,” said Leo coach Jared Sauder, who was an assistant for the North. “Mentally you expect a lot of that early on, but the North team battled back in the second half.”
Only game MVP Danny Anthrop’s 56-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter prevented the shutout.
The North had 199 yards in total offense, while the South had 172.
“The defense really stepped it up in the second half,” said defensive end Andrew Hoffer, a New Haven product. “We hung together and played hard and fast. I was proud to be a part of this unit.”
South leads the series 25-21 and won last year’s game 13-7.
“At first, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get this opportunity,” Hoffer said of the all-star experience. “But I was fortunate and blessed, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will never forget it.”
Terrell (QB), Snider’s Jose Flores (OL) and John Nelson (RB) and Wawasee’s John Essex (TE) started for the North team.
Also on North roster from northeast Indiana were Garrett’s Todd Frickey (DB), Leo’s Justice Caley (OL) and Gage Corner (WR). Leo’s Mike Zent was also on the North’s coaching staff.