June 15, 2013 Big 33 Game
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.
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.