Written by Toan Ngo Hits: 1167
June 16, 2012 Big 33 Game
Six costly Pennsylvania turnovers ultimately undid an outstanding defensive performance from the Keystone side, setting the stage for Ohio kicker Tyler Grassman’s 39-yard field goal that lifted Ohio to a stunning 24-21 overtime victory. The outcome was especially painful for Pennsylvania because of a 14-point fourth quarter lead that vanished in 17 seconds.
Lima Central Catholic quarterback Tyler O’Connor’s 1-yard sneak brought Ohio to within 21-14 with 6:27 to play. On the ensuing kickoff, Pennsylvania’s Desmon Peoples was hit near the goal line and fumbled, with E.J. Junior recovering in the end zone to make it 21-21.
The Buckeye defense picked off five passes, two each by Nana Kyeremeh of Thomas Worthington High School and Andre Jones of Cincinnati Colerain. Kyeremeh’s second interception was the decisive play of the game. After Grassman’s field goal in OT, Pennsylvania’s offense had an opportunity to answer, but Skyler Mornhinweg threw just behind his target Rushel Shell with Kyeremeh snatching the tipped pass for a game-ending pick.
This marked the fourth consecutive victory for Ohio, which trailed 14-0 at halftime. O’Connor, bound for Michigan State, threw for 161 yards, including an 85-yard score to Najee Murray, and was named Ohio’s Most Valuable Player. Bloomsburg quarterback Blake Rankin completed 9 of 14 for 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns to earn the Pennsylvania MVP honors.
Early on, it looked like the Pennsylvania defense was going to rule the night, led by a ferocious group of linebackers that held Ohio to a mere 100 total yards in the opening half. It wasn’t until late in the third quarter that Ohio broke through, with O’Connor and Murray’s connection making it 14-7. Rankin answered with a 4-yard pass to J.P. Holtz to push the Pennsylvania lead back to 21-7 but the Ohio defense continued to generate turnovers and that was decisive.
June 18, 2011 Big 33 Game
The 54th Big 33 Classic was a convincing display of Ohio superiority from start to finish. Showcasing a dazzling cast of playmakers on offense and a downright destructive front four on defense, the Buckeye state walloped Pennsylvania 50-14. Not only was this Ohio’s third consecutive win in the series, it also was their largest margin of victory in the Big 33 and the most points ever scored by an Ohio side.
Ursuline’s Akise Teague lived up to his reputation as Ohio’s Mr. Football, scoring touchdowns of 52, 20 and 40 yards, and rolling up 168 total yards on 10 touches to earn Most Valuable Player honors.
After Pennsylvania had briefly closed to within 14-7 midway through the second quarter following a turnover and short drive capped by Sean Barowski’s 5-yard touchdown, Ohio zoomed to a commanding 28-7 halftime lead. Glenville quarterback Cardale Jones hit Devin Smith for a 54-yard TD strike, and then came the real back breaker – a record-setting 101-yard interception return for a touchdown by Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Doran Grant – just as Pennsylvania’s offense looked to be getting untracked.
Teague’s final score made it 35-7 in the third quarter and Pennsylvania was unable to make it a game the rest of the way. The Ohio defensive line, led by Elyria’s Chase Farris and Canton McKinley’s Steve Miller, was simply too big, too fast and too athletic for the Pennsylvania front and held the Keystone side to minus-16 rushing yards.
Ohio State recruit Jones threw for 160 of Ohio’s 264 passing yards, with future OSU teammate Smith racking up 103 yards receiving. Barowski, a fullback from Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt, was named Pennsylvania’s MVP.
June 19, 2010 Big 33 Game
Most fans will not remember the sloppy play in the first 46 minutes of the 53rd Big 33 Football Classic. The first half is one both teams would like to forget, with the sides tallying a combined seven first downs, 137 total yards and 215 penalty yards. The only highlight was when Ohio punter Terry Spear kicked the ball out of the end zone after a bad snap for a safety, giving the Keystone State a 2-0 lead.
Things picked up in the third, as the PA quarterbacks Tyler Smith from Wilson headed to University of Maryland and Libery High School and Pitt recruit, Anthony Gonzalez picked apart the Ohio secondary, going 6-for-6 and 129 yards. Smith hurled the biggest dagger, a 48-yard bomb to Alex Kenney, giving Pennsylvania a 9-0 lead.A short 30 seconds later, Ohio MVP Verlon Reed who is headed to Ohio State, danced away from Pennsylvania MVP Rich Gray from Woodland Hills headed to Kent State University and ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run. Ohio then took its first lead after Spear booted a 33-yard field goal with 3:41 left. It looked like PA’s Gonzalez was going to play the hero when he found a wide open Andrew Carswell on a skinny post. The Pitt recruit raced 65 yards to pay dirt with 1:30 left. The two-point conversion failed, but Pennsylvania had a 15-10 advantage.
One thing spectators will remember, especially Ohio fans, is quarterback Mark Myers’ hitting speedy running back Prince-Tyson Gulley from Akron Garfield headed to Syracuse University, on a 5-yard out and up that turned into a 53- yard gain to the Pennsylvania 22. After a 5-yard penalty moved the ball up to the 17, Myers targeted Ohio State recruit Christian Bryant on an out to give the Buckeye State an 18-15 decision and bragging rights for the second season in a row.