Article submitted by Jeff Batzel
Pennsylvania used a stifling defense, a pass on their first offensive play that completely caught Maryland off-guard, and a punishing running attack enroute to a 26-14 victory in the 59th Big 33 Classic at Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday night.
A Damar Hamlin (Pittsburgh Central Catholic-Pitt) interception of a batted Maryland pass in the first three minutes of the game set the stage for a Devante Cross (Parkland-Virginia) to Miles Sanders (Woodland Hills-Penn State) pass to get things started. Sanders, a runningback, ran a backside wheel route and Cross came back to the weak side to find him completely unguarded for a TD on Pennsylvania’s first play from scrimmage.
Two more TD’s in just over a 3-minutes time span in the 2nd quarter added to the damage. Again it was Sanders and his HS teammate Jo-El Shaw (Woodland Hills-Syracuse) doing the damage as runners behind the superb work of the Keystone State’s Offensive Line. Sanders, the game's MVP, would score again in the third quarter on a 19 yard run to seal the deal. Sanders had 7 rushes for 73 yards while Shaw had 80 yards on 14 totes of the pigskin.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s defense was stifling and limited Maryland to just 143 total yards on the evening. JoeJay Smith (Beth Catholic-Garden City CC) added a 2nd interception for Pennsylvania.
Maryland did get on the board twice late in the game, both on big plays when the game was no longer in doubt.
Aaron Matthews (Clairton/Pitt) who led Pennsylania with 89 yards receiving makes a catch over the middle and is brought down by Maryland's Martin Foray, a St. Francis University of PA recruit.
Pennsylvania 26, Maryland 14
Pennsylvania - 6 - 13 - 7 - 0 -- 26
Maryland - 0 - 0 - 0 - 14 -- 14
PA-Miles Sanders 21 pass from Devante Cross (kick failed), 8:52
PA-Sanders 5 run (pass failed), 8:37
PA-Jo-El Shaw 3 run (Mike Cushma kick), 5:24
PA-Sanders 19 run (Cushma kick), 8:59
MD-Dae’lun Darien 35 pass from Shawn Bliss (Mike Shinsky kick), 5:53
MD-Martin Foray Jr. 62 interception return (Shinsky kick), 1:43