New Middletown, OH (WKBN) – Pennsylvania turned in a dominating performance in their 24-7 victory over Ohio in the 35th Annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic All-Star football game Friday night at Springfield Community Stadium. The win was the Keystoners 25th in the series, and second in a row.
The Pennsylvania team set the tone early in the contest when they rushed for 36-yards on the first play from scrimmage. But the theme of the first half was the Keystoners moving the ball easily, but then committing turnovers and penalties to stall drives. In their first four possessions they fumbled twice, threw an interception, and turned the ball over on downs.
“Defensively they were an excellent defense,” Josh McDade (Crestview) said of the Pennsylvania team. “They were a little bit faster than I thought, but they were all eleven hats to the ball. They were just better than us tonight.”
They finally hit pay dirt early in the second quarter when quarterback Gabe Greco (New Brighton) hit Craig Thompson (New Brighton) for a 31-yard scoring strike. The score would occur at the 11:06 mark of the quarter, giving them a 7-0 lead.
They would score again on their next possession when they got down to the Ohio 18-yard line, but the Buckeye defense would come up with a big stop, forcing the Keystoners to kick a 34-yard field goal by Matt White (Mars) with 5:24 remaining in the first half. The field goal gave the Keystoners a 10-0 lead.
Pennsylvania would attempt another 35-yard field goal just three minutes later, but Whites kick would sail wide preserving the score at 10-0. A 62-yard pass and two runs had the ball at the 1-yard line before the Buckeyes pushed them back to the 19 in a ferocious defensive stand.
Ohio was able to get some offensive cohesiveness to start the second half as they drove into Pennsylvania territory before punting in their first possession, and then they scored on their second when quarterback Jacob Wolfe (Poland) hit Khalil Jones (Steubenville Central Catholic) on a 2-yard slant for a touchdown. The score came with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter and drew the Buckeyes within three points at 10-7.
“Our line was having trouble in the first half,” Anthony Scandy (Springfield) admitted. “We went into the locker room at halftime, and we identified some problems, we fixed them up and we had more time to pass and more holes to run through.”
Wolfe was named the Ohio “Player of the Game” for his efforts on the night. he would connect on 5 of 9 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. He would also catch a pass for 25-yards in the fourth quarter in which he suffered a leg injury and was forced to sit out the final eight minutes of the game.
“We came out a little flat,” Ohio running back Billy Goodall (South Range) remarked. “But we turned it into a game in the second half. The plays just didn’t go our way sometimes, but it was a good game though.”
But Pennsylavania would salt the game away early in the fourth quarter when Alex Rowse (Beaver) hit Thompson on a 7-yard pass to make it 17-7 in favor of the Keystoners. The score came at the 10:21 mark of the stanza.
Pennsylvania would add one more touchdown in the closing minutes of the contest when Rowse hit Thompson one more time for a touchdown. This time it was a 34-yard strike making it the final of 24-7. The touchdown came with just 3:11 remaining in the contest.
“Its a great honor, a great group of guys. I had a fun two weeks with them,” Goodall said of playing in the game.
Courtesy: Lowell Spencer , ITCLFootball.net