1997 Recap

Written by: Big 33 Staff on July 26, 1997.


In what may have been the most exciting finish in history, Pennsylvania rallied for a 21-20 victory over Ohio before 17,000 fans left limp at the unexpected finish.

With just 84 seconds left in the game, Ohio was sitting on a 20-14 lead and looked like a sure winner. The Keystone Staters found themselves running out of time and a full 80 yards away from the Ohio end zone. Downingtown quarterback Dan Ellis calmly took his team down the field. He didn’t panic when his first completion was nullified by a penalty. Instead, he reloaded and found Wilson’s John Gilmore open at the Ohio 47. Ellis next went to Ben Erdeljac at the 34, but the clock was down to 26 ticks.

Coach Jack McCurry had to call a timeout to stop the clock after a short pass to James Mungro. With the time running out, Ellis threw to LaVar Arrington, who was knocked out of bounds inside the one. McCurry then gambled on a quarterback sneak. Ellis took the snap and slid along the line until he spotted an opening and backed into the end zone. Morgan Anderson kicked the extra point and Pennsylvania had survived.

Ellis had a big game, completing 10-of-15 passes for 176 yards. He ran for two scores. Team MVPs were tailback James Mungro of East Stroudsburg and Combs. Mungro ran for 74 yards and Combs ran for 77.