Pennsylvania Deals Maryland A Big 33 Classic Shutout
Written by: Eric Epler on May 27, 2019. Photo courtesy Brett Crossley
Those football fans that didn’t get a chance to see Harrisburg’s Kane Everson perform in the PIAA Class 6A championship game in December got another opportunity Monday in the 62nd annual Big 33 Classic.
Everson threw for a pair of touchdown passes, one each to Imhotep Charter’s Yusuf Terry and Aliquippa’s Will Gipson, and accounted for 179 total yards as Pennsylvania shut out Maryland’s all-star contingent 21-0 at Speed Ebersole Stadium.
Terry, a Baylor signee, was the biggest thorn in Maryland’s side, adding a 15-yard touchdown run and providing 75 receiving yards on just two receptions. Terry was named Pa.’s Most Valuable Player in helping return the Big 33 trophy to the Keystone State.
Maryland had snapped Pa.’s three-game win streak in the series with last year’s 9-6 victory.
“The first touchdown fired us up but the second one, on the reverse, sealed it,” said Terry, who made a great adjustment over two defenders on Everson’s 31-yard heave late in the opening quarter. Terry struck again from Maryland’s 15 with 3:11 left in the half.
“It got our team going and they were just turning up. It feels great. It’s an honor to represent my high school, my college and Pa. and Philly also.”
While Maryland’s defensive front held Pa.’s rushing combo of Conwell-Egan’s Patrick Garwo III and Coatesville’s Aaron Young in check, big plays by Pa.’s wildly-talented set of receivers took its toll.
Gipson added a 5-yard slant from Everson late in the third quarter that sealed any chance at a Maryland repeat.
“The win means a lot,” said Bishop McDevitt WR Nazir Burnett, who caught two passes for 73 yards and narrowly missed at least one TD pass. “We wouldn’t want to waste our time practicing all week just for a loss, so we came out here and did what we had to do.”
A titanic assist went to coach Mark Lyons’ defense, paced by McKeesport LB Thomas Wyatt (9 tackles), Berks Catholic LB Brandon George (8 tackles, pass breakup) and Imhotep Charter DB Tykee Smith, who delivered a couple of big shots and added an interception.
Up front, defensive tackles Dwayne Majors (Conwell-Egan) and Loyalsock’s Bam Brima helped pin Maryland to 145 total yards of offense.
Late addition, Halifax DB Broc Grosser, was part of a secondary that held Maryland’s quality set of QBs, Oakdale’s Collin Schlee and Linganore’s Ryan Leyh, to a combined 5-for-18 for 27 yards.
“The two quarterbacks we had are both phenomenal. They both threw for a lot of yardage in their high school careers,” said Maryland coach Scott Ripley. They are both going to be great college football players. We just couldn’t complete the passes. All week we threw the ball great but today it didn’t show up.”
Pa. improved their record to 5-2 since Maryland rejoined the Big 33 in 2013. Everson’s 37 rushing yards also led Pa., which got 73 passing yards from Central York’s Cade Pribula and a pair of receptions from Warwick TE Hayden Rucci.
“It’s been so much fun. The game was just part of it,” said Rucci, headed to Wisconsin in a few days. “The overall experience was great. Our secondary was super-talented, but the whole defense in general was clicking.”
Despite some heated moments in the first half that resulted in a brief fight between the two teams, Ripley was happy with his team’s showing, as well.
“We have a lot of great players in Maryland,” Ripley said.
“We formed a bond and formed a chain and told them ‘don’t break that chain today.’ They all had each other’s backs and they all played hard to the whistle. The score didn’t show it but we had a good football game. Our kids are starting to understand how big this game is and they want to play.”