INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — Not much went the way Jerrell Poindexter thought his Indiana All-Star football experience would go on Friday night.
The outcome, though, was all he had hoped for.
Poindexter's North All-Stars beat the South All-Stars 20-7 in the Indiana football North-South All-Star game at North Central High School after a lightning delay that lasted nearly three hours. And the win for North was its first victory after losing each of the last four years to the South. Poindexter was well aware.
"We heard (about) it so much this week," he said. "We're like, 'We're going to practice harder. We're going to do much better than what they're doing.' We practiced hard and we earned it."
Poindexter created a spark.
North's Ab Kiger recovered a fumble and two plays later quarterback Jake Paliga connected with Poindexter on a 34-yard touchdown pass to give the North All-Stars a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Later, in the fourth quarter, South was forced to punt from its own end zone and Poindexter returned it 36 yards to put the North All-Stars in scoring position. A play later, Keion Powers, who finished with 44 yards rushing on seven carries, scored on a 5-yard run to put the game away.
After Dorian Tate ran eight yards in the first quarter for South's only touchdown, Joel Spegal scored the go ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run to put the North ahead 14-7 with 9:36 remaining in the first half.
Lightning and strong storms postponed the start of the game for nearly three hours, forcing players to wait it out in the team's locker rooms. Because of the lengthy delay, officials changed the traditional Indiana high school football rules to speed up the match-up. It lasted less than 90 minutes from start to finish.
Halftime was eliminated and the game was played with a 12-minute running clock, stopping only for a change of possession, timeouts, and when a team scored. That didn't make things easy, according to Tate.
"It's very tough," the Indiana State recruit said. "It throws you off. Your body is already off routine and off schedule. It's hard to play. Them going up two scores was just hard."
Tate scored the single touchdown for the South All-Stars and finished with 15 yards rushing. Quarterback Bryce Stancombe was 5 of 8 passing and ran 17 yards. The win for North coach Chris Meeks was his second major win in less than a last year. Meeks' Rensselaer Central football team won the school's first state championship with a win over Evansville Mater Dei in the Class 2A state finals last year.
"I've been blessed to coach some great football players, that's obvious," Meeks said. "When we put this team together in March, we handpicked kids who we thought were great football players, but also high character kids. You saw that tonight."