Ohio State to host Central State-Kentucky State football rivalry game in August

Central State football is coming back to central Ohio in August.

Tickets for the Classic For Columbus football game between the Marauders and Kentucky State at Ohio Stadium went on sale Thursday.

Set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 28, the game between HBCU rivals will be part of a four-day festival of sports, education and culture.

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A battle of the bands, drumline, greek step show and career fair will also be part of the festivities, which mark a renewal of an annual event that began in Columbus in the early 1990s and later took place in Cleveland and Cincinnati until 2005.

“This is truly an honor for us to have this opportunity to host this classic again,” Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith said during a press conference Thursday in Columbus. “The opportunity to bring it back to ‘The Shoe’ is truly a blessing.

“The scholarship dollars generated through the week are so beneficial, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure those student-athletes have a quality experience in the game.”

Central State canceled all sporting events last school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the game will mark the return to play for the CSU football team under first-year coach Bobby Rome II.

Although KSU won the last meeting 34-28 in 2019, the Marauders lead the all-time series 36-23-1.

“It is an exciting time for Central State football,” Rome said in a release. “We have spent the time away from the field recruiting and developing talented and versatile players who possess championship mentalities and unmatched passion for the game of football. The Classic for Columbus is a great opportunity for us to return to action in a world-class venue.”

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Classic For Columbus CEO John Pace said he hopes the game and associated events will raise over $300,000 for scholarships and education.

“Classic For Columbus is a family-friendly event with something for everyone,” Pace said in a press release. “We plan to showcase the full spectrum of universities and their college life. Families can also learn about the admissions criteria and financial aid. Our primary existential focus will be on financial literacy and wealth-building.”

A golf outing with Ohio State football alumni is also part of the event, which hopes to raise more than $100,000 for participating charities.

Tickets can be purchased online at ClassicForColumbus.com.

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