With Maryland appearing in the Big 33 Classic on Saturday for the first time in 21 years, Pennsylvania showed what a little time away from the rivalry can do.
The Keystone State's high school senior all-star football team needed just three plays and 35 seconds to score two touchdowns on its way to a 58-27 win under the lights at Hersheypark Stadium.
“We just had some mistakes and they capitalized on them,” former Henry A. Wise and future Old Dominion defensive lineman Jai Franklin said. “It was a shock, definitely, but coach [DaLawn] Parrish and coach [Reggie] White, they tried to keep the defensive line composed. We knew it was getting a little rowdy, but we tried to keep things together. We tried to make some plays.”
Pennsylvania, which now owns a 7-2 advantage against Maryland in a series which was last played from 1985-1992, took the lead on a 91-yard return by Tyler Boyd on the opening kickoff.
Two plays later, Boyd was in the end zone again.
Maryland's Jaquille Veii fumbled the ensuing kickoff to set up a 16-yard pass from Mack Leftwich to Boyd. Boyd, who will play at Pittsburgh, finished with four touchdowns and one touchdown pass.
Before halftime, Pennsylvania also returned an interception for a touchdown and returned a blocked extra point for two points.
“When you turn the ball over and give up big plays in an all-star setting like this, guys either go down or rise up,” said Milan Collins, who played at Bishop McNamara and will play for the University of Maryland, College Park. “I think [Pennsylvania] just took the momentum early. But we fought back and cut the lead down before halftime. We just couldn't find that spark again that we had before halftime. So it's a learning experience. I was glad I was able to come out, compete and get better today.”
With Parrish coaching the defense, Wise's defenders shined in the game.
During one sequence in the second quarter, three Pumas combined for back-to-back sacks.
On 2nd-and-10 from Pennsylvania's 22-yard-line, Franklin pushed past Pennsylvania's line and sacked Leftwich for a five-yard loss. The next play, Myles Humphrey and D'Angelo Niler combined on a sack. Humphrey also had a solo sack in the first quarter.
“It was fortunate,” Franklin said. “Not a lot of guys can say they did that for the last all-star game. And three were captains. So we were representing.”
After the game ended, Quince Orchard coach Dave Mencarini, who was Maryland's coach, stood and watched as players said goodbye to their host families and other friends made during the week.
A chink in his armor showed while watching Westminster linebacker Dan Johnson say goodbye to his buddy of the week. As she sat in her wheelchair, crying while making sure Johnson had her address, Mencarini wasn't thinking about the final score.
“This is what the Big 33 is about,” he said. “That right there — that's awesome.”
Pennsylvania 58, Maryland 27
Maryland 0 20 7 0 — 27
Pennsylvania 21 16 14 7 — 58
Pa. — Tyler Boyd 91 kick return (Ryan Winslow kick)
Pa. — Tyler Boyd 16 pass from Mack Leftwich (Ryan Winslow kick)
Pa. — Titus Howard 40 interception return (Tyan Winslow)
Pa. — Boyd 4 run (Ryan Winslow kick)
Md. — Kyle Levere 11 pass from Shane Cockerille (Ben Priddy kick)
Md. — Shane Cockerille 1 run (kick blocked)
Pa. — Matt Galambos blocked PAT returned
Md. — Reggie Ellis 32 pass from Shane Cockerille (Ben Priddy kick)
Pa. — Brian Lemelle 68 pass from Tyler Boyd (Ryan Winslow kick)
Md. — Luke Casey 2 run (Ben Priddy kick)
Pa. — Chris Jones 57 pass from Damion Terry (Ryan Winslow kick)
Pa. — Tyler Boyd 5 pass from Mack Leftwich (Ryan Winslow kick)
Pa. — Chris Jones 4 pass from Mack Leftwich (Ryan Winslow kick)
Maryland — Shane Cockerille 8-31; Luke Casey 4-14; Rachid Ibrahim 1-14; Darius Victor 4-12; DeAndre Lane 1-0. Pennsylvania — Damion Terry 10-42; Chris Jones 3-35; Dorian Brown 7-34; Forrest Barnes 5-14; Tyler Boyd 2-9; Mack Leftwich 4-(-3).
Maryland — Shane Cockerille 13-32-247-0; Luke Casey 4-12-29-1; Darius Victor 0-1-0-1. Pennsylvania — Mack Leftwich 7-11-104-1; Damion Terry 4-8-83-0; Tyler Boyd 2-3-79-0.
Maryland — DeAndre Lane 6-122; Reggie Ellis 5-93; Kyle Levere 2-45; Rachid Ibrahim 2-8; Darius Victor 1-7; Bradley Metcalf 1-1. Pennsylvania — Tyler Boyd 5-89; Brian Lemelle 1-68; Chris Jones 2-61; Tyler Krpinski 3-46;Forrest Barnes 1-7; Delton Williams 1-5.