Harrisburg-Maryland snapped Pennsylvania’s three-game winning streak with a 9-6 victory in the Big 33 Football Classic last night. The game was a defensive slugfest and the place-kickers shined as the brightest stars in the classic All-Star contest. Neither team was very sharp which is pretty common for all-star games nowadays. Both teams were very mistake-prone and unable to take advantage of numerous opportunities. Points were at a premium, but both squads showed extraordinary effort and resiliency.
River Hill’s Cooper McGeehan’s booted the 39-yard game-winning field goal with 10.5 seconds remaining in the contest bringing the trophy back to Maryland. Cooper will be competing for the place kicking job at Pitt later this fall.
The game was tied 6-6 after the first half. Penn State recruit Vlad Hilling of Hollidaysburg was successful on field goals of 20 and 56 yards for Pennsylvania including nailing a Big 33-record 56-yard field goal with 1:28 left in the first half.
Cumberland Valley safety Charlie Katshir blocked McGeehan’s third field goal attempt of the first half just moments before. The Penn State bound Katshir was the linchpin of the Pennsylvania defense and was exceptional throughout the contest.
Maryland QB Kendall Bonner of Quince Orchard led the Maryland offense, completing 7 of 16 passes for 113 yards and rushing for 24 yards. Booner, an Air Force recruit, continuously extended plays for the Maryland squad and showed tremendous ability while making some big-time plays.
Pennsylvania QB Luke Emge was picked off twice in the game. The most crucial one happened when Emge targeted State College receiver Brandon Clark in the end zone and Maryland DB Brandon Savage intercepted the football for a touchback. The interception ended up being the turning point in the contest culminating with Maryland’s McGeehan kicking the aforementioned game-winner.
Pennsylvania QB Marquez McCray threw a desperation pass that just missed Pennsylvania receiver Shaquon Anderson-Butts in the end zone as time expired. Savage garnered MVP honors for the Maryland and Hilling was named MVP for Pennsylvania. The Maryland squad was slightly quicker and sharper last night. The visitors were very hungry, focused, and determined in the 4th quarter and that proved to be the difference in the outcome of the game.