Written by: Big 33 Staff on July 30, 1988.
Mother Nature forced an early ending to what might have been the most exciting Big 33 Classic in the long history of the all-star football series. Pennsylvania was declared a 21-13 winner over Maryland in a game that was halted at half-time by a violent thunderstorm.
Most of the crowd of 17,334 were well on their way home when game director Mickey Minnich told coaches and players that it would be impossible to resume the action.
It was a disappointing ending to what had been an exciting game. Players from both teams said they wish they had been able to return to action.
Maryland took the opening kickoff and got great field position, thanks to a 31-yard return by Tyrone Fitch. Using one of the trick plays that each team is allowed, Maryland went to a half-back pass from Marcus Lewis to star wideout Leslie Shephard. A leaping catch by Shepherd completed a 45-yard gain. On third down at the Pennsylvania one, Kastantin had to scramble around on a broken play and was nailed for a nine-yard loss by Pennsylvania end Rick Sayles. That forced Coach McGregory to bring in John Duke for a 27-yard field goal that enabled Maryland to take a 3-0 lead.
On its second possession, Pennsylvania went long distance. Quarterback Bruce Keys dropped the ball over Maryland defenders to a wide open Richard Reyes for a 74-yard scoring strike. Tony Guadagninon’s kick made it 7-3.
The scoring drives continued with both teams leading at one time or another. A Hackenberg pass to Ismail on fourth down with just 23 seconds left in the half decided the final scoring effort for Pennsylvania and what would be the final score for the 1988 game.