June 17, 2017 Big 33 Game
The Big 33 Football Classic had a new look this year as Pennsylvania extended its winning streak over Maryland to three games with a 44-33 victory Saturday at Landis Field. Pennsylvania’s quarterbacks Grant Breneman and Reece Udinski celebrated the 60th anniversary of the all-star showcase with a combined 392 passing yards, with North Penn’s Udinski clearing MVP honors with a big second half.
Maryland’s defensive unit rotated with only five linemen after St. Frances defensive lineman B’Ahmad Miller (University of Maryland), one of the few Power Five options Team Maryland touted left the game with an injury early in the first quarter.
Evan Fochtman led a charge out of halftime that gave Maryland its lone lead of the night and convinced the players they could handle Pennsylvania’s test. Fochtman capped those efforts with a 7-yard rushing touchdown less than three minutes into the third quarter for a 21-17 advantage. But Cedar Cliff’s Breneman found St. Joe’s Prep wideout Terrance Greene for a 31-yard scoring strike less than four minutes later.
Middletown RB Jalen Thompson would cap a brisk six-play, 71-yard drive by plunging in from the Maryland 4. Maryland’s offense worked to come back from that deficit, which Pennsylvania stretched to as many as 17 points. Fochtman completed seven of his 15 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Jabari Laws (Army West Point), who led Wise to the Class 4A state championship in the fall, went 6-for-11 for 84 yards.
St. Joe’s Prep wideout Terrance Greene had two touchdown catches with a 71-yarder from Breneman, who completed 7 of 13 attempts for 217 yards. Pitt recruit Darian Street of Liberty added a 51-yarder from Udinski, who completed 7 of 13 for 217 yards and was named Pennsylvania’s MVP. The offense, led by Archbishop Wood coach Steve Devlin, featured more four-receiver formations after halftime.
Harrisburg’s Joel Davis led Pennsylvania with six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. Greene had five catches and 162 yards. Archbishop Wood running back Shawn Thompson also found the end zone twice for Pennsylvania.
The 10 WPIAL players on the roster didn’t throw, catch or run for any of Pennsylvania’s six touchdowns. Woodland Hills safety Saeed Holt was involved often, but their greatest impact was noticeable up front. The WPIAL had six linemen on the roster.
When Pennsylvania scored 4 minutes later on a drive orchestrated by Udinski, the Keystone State entered the fourth ahead 30-21. The touchdown was a 4-yard run by Thompson, who rushed for 80 yards. A few plays later, Darian Street caught a 51-yarder and Pennsylvania led 37-21 with 6:43 left.
June 18, 2016 Big 33 Game
Franklin Regional’s Todd Summers and about a dozen other WPIAL standouts contributed to a 26-14 Pennsylvania win in the 59th edition of the Big 33 Football Classic. Summers spent most of his time on the field Saturday as a blocking tight end. Summers helped open holes for the PA backfield of Woodland Hills seniors Jo-El Shaw and Miles Sanders and McKeesport’s Khaleke Hudson.
Sanders, a Penn State commit, knowing his number would be called on Pennsylvania’s first play from scrimmage, caught Parkland’s Devante Cross, a University of Virginia recruit’s pass in the corner of the end zone. The play was set up on an interception by Pittsburgh Central Catholic star Damar Hamlin, one of Sanders’ WPIAL rivals over the last three seasons. Hamlin, headed to Pitt, helped PA limit Maryland to 122 passing yards on the night. Sanders, initially lined up as a slot receiver, joined Syracuse signee Shaw to lead the PA backfield. Shaw manufactured 82 rushing yards on 14 attempts. His 3-yard scoring drive in the second quarter came three minutes after Sanders punched in from the Maryland 5. PA earned a 19-0 edge at halftime. Both Sanders and Shaw each rushed for 75 yards. Shaw had 13 carries, and Sanders had seven. Sanders ran for two touchdowns and caught another as Pennsylvania raced out to a 26-0 lead before Maryland recorded two second-half scores.
The Maryland coaching staff knew it didn’t have the same star power as Pennsylvania for the Big 33 Classic, but it didn’t see any reason to think it couldn’t hang with the Keystone State’s finest in the annual all-star game. And through the early part of Saturday night’s matchup at Hersheypark Stadium, the Maryland defense was stout and trailed Pennsylvania by only a touchdown after the opening quarter. Another Penn State product, wide receiver Dae’lun Darien, got Maryland on the board late in the fourth quarter. Matched in man coverage, Darien hauled in a 35-yard scoring strike from quarterback Shawn Bliss with 5:53 to go to cut the lead to 26-7. Darien had 40 yards. With 1:43 remaining, Northwest defensive back Martin Foray Jr. (Saint Francis University) jumped a route and took his interception 62 yards the other way to bring the Maryland squad to within two touchdowns.
Pennsylvania’s defense with Hudson heading to Michigan and Central Catholic’s Damar Hamlin going to Pittsburgh in the secondary held Maryland to 41 yards rushing and didn’t let the offense establish any sort of rhythm. Old Mill running back Pete Boone had a team-high 24 yards rushing, and Owings Mills running back Michael Johnson, a West Virginia State recruit had a team-high 54 yards receiving. Maryland had 21 net yards on 24 carries. Hudson also rushed four times for 43 yards in the victory.
The win was PA’s second straight against Maryland following a 20-3 victory in 2015. Since Maryland returned to the Big 33 Classic in 2013, it has dropped three of four meetings, with the lone victory coming in 2014, and Pennsylvania improved to 10-2 in the series.
June 19, 2015 Big 33 Game
It didn’t take Pennsylvania’s all-star squad long to jump out to an early lead, as South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh found Harrisburg’s Amechie Walker on a deep slant between the hash marks. One play. One pass. 63 yards, six points and barely 13 seconds off the clock.
Urbana’s Ray Grey started the game for Maryland at RB and paced both squads on the ground with 67 of his team’s 78 yards. Maryland put together several drives and threatened to score several times, but couldn’t capitalize in the red zone for the most part. A 26 yard field goal by North Harford’s Sean Bowling to lead off the second quarter would be all the losing squad could convert.
Pennsylvania on the other hand, could not seem to earn a first down, except in the passing game. Their scores all came on deep passes, and only had a total of three yards on the ground.
Brumbaugh set up the team’s second TD as the clock wound down past the seven-minute mark, finding first Walker and then Archbishop Wood ‘s Jarrett McClenton for a combined 46 yards. Woodland Hills wide out Art Thompkins, caught a 26-yard touchdown pass. Pennsylvania’s final score came as the clock ticked past the 2:59 mark near the end of the half. Brumbaugh found Imhotep Charter‘s D.J. Moore on a flea-flicker for an 86-yard score.
Woodland Hills’ Mike Nash had an interception, one of three Maryland turnovers. Rain fell throughout the first half but the storms intensified while the teams were in the locker rooms at halftime and the game was called before the start of the third quarter. The Big 33 also was cut short at halftime by thunderstorms in 1988, when Pennsylvania beat Maryland, 21-13. Pennsylvania leads the series 2-1.
June 14, 2014 Big 33 Game
In the first-ever Big 33 double overtime game, Maryland beat Pennsylvania 31-24 in dramatic fashion. Maryland jumped out early in the first quarter, as running back Marquel Dickerson saw a big hole up the middle, taking the carry for a 72-yard touchdown. A 39-yard field goal put Maryland ahead 10-0 near the end of the first quarter. Shortly into the second quarter, they added to their lead. Jalen Jones capped a 62-yard drive with a pass to Kevin Joppy in the flat, which he ran 14 yards for a touchdown. Pennsylvania had its next drive interrupted abruptly, as Maryland’s Josh Woods picked off a Mark Pyles pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and the 24-0 lead. Woods, a Maryland signee, finished with three interceptions and was named Maryland’s Most Valuable Player.
Down 24-0 in the second quarter, Pennsylvania stormed back with Chase Edmonds scoring on Pennsylvania’s first touchdown midway through the second quarter on a 28-yard run. The Fordham signee was later named Pennsylvania’s Most Valuable Player, taking seven carries for 50 yards. Maryland almost scored right before halftime, but Christian Lezzer stripped Micah Till near the goal line and Niko Thorpe recovered the ball in the end zone to give Pennsylvania the ball back. Thorpe recovered another fumble on a botched handoff in the third quarter, and it led to Pennsylvania’s next score. Toledo-bound tailback Terry Swanson made the turnover count as he punched in a touchdown from 5 yards out. That made it a 24-14 Maryland lead with 4:23 to go in the third quarter.
Pyles led Pennsylvania’s first drive of the fourth quarter and capitalized with a 20-yard touchdown run to make it just a three-point deficit. The Pennsylvania defense took over after that, riding the momentum. The defensive line swarmed into the Maryland backfield and held them to negative 3 yards of offense in the fourth quarter. Lower Dauphin kicker Joe Julius, who erased a disastrous start, nailed a 29-yard field goal that forged a 24-all battle with 1:19 left in regulation. In the first overtime, Julius went wide left on a 42-yard field goal attempt, but the Pennsylvania defense had his back. Patrick Amara intercepted Maryland quarterback Jalen Jones near the goal line to send the game to another overtime period. Maryland had the ball first in double OT and on the first play; Antwaine Carter dropped a 25-yard pass right into the arms of Reggie White Jr. for a touchdown. Starting at the 25-yard line, Pennsylvania moved the ball 13 yards on two plays. But on the next one, Mark Pyles was intercepted by Rasheed Gillis at the 2-yard line to send Maryland home on top. Maryland vs. PennsylvaniaJune 15, 2013 nHersheyPark StadiumAntonio Freeman2013 Honorary Chairman
This one was a show for the ages. Pennsylvania’s recent troubles in the Big 33 Classic faded away once Clairton’s dynamic Tyler Boyd returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. And that was only the beginning. The Pitt-bound Boyd guaranteed himself a special place in Big 33 history, scoring four times and throwing for a fifth touchdown as Pennsylvania routed Maryland 58-27. The 56th edition of the classic marked the return of Maryland to the series after a 20-year hiatus. The Keystone state had dropped four straight games to Ohio entering this one. But thanks to Boyd and his high school teammate Titus Howard, Pennsylvania took a lightning fast 21-0 lead and never looked back. Boyd hauled in the first of two TD catches from North Allegheny’s Mack Leftwich, a diving 16-yard grab: 35 into the game. Shortly after, Howard picked off a pass and cruised 40 yards for another score with just 1:20 off the clock. Maryland battled back and briefly pulled within 10 points on the strength of quarterback Shane Cockerille of Gilman High School. Cockerille, named the Most Valuable Player for Maryland, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, all in less than a six-minute span of the second quarter, to cut the deficit to 30-20. But Pennsylvania MVP Boyd answered quickly, hitting Bishop McDevitt’s Brian Lemelle in stride on a 68-yard halfback option pass to make it 37-20 at halftime. The teams traded scores in the third quarter, before Boyd ended all doubt, scoring on a quick 5-yard strike from Leftwich to make it 51-27 late in the third quarter. Boyd amassed 310 all-purpose yards. Leftwich threw three touchdowns in the game, the final going to Coatesville wide receiver Chris Jones, who caught a pair of TDs. The University of Maryland-bound Cockerille led all passers, completing 13 of 28 for 247 yards.
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