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PA provided the fireworks 31-16

Written by: on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008


HERSHEY – The Pennsylvania all-stars provided plenty of fireworks and hard hits in last night’s 51st annual Big 33 Football Classic at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey. PA all-stars cruised to the 31-16 victory.

Most of the fireworks came from the right arm of Pitt bound quarterback Tino Sunseri out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Sunseri completed 6 of 12 passes for 189 yards and three scores. Sunseri said, “I have to credit the offensive line and my receivers. They ran really good routes.”

The PA all-stars scored the first touchdown of the game when Sunseri hit Jonathan Baldwin for a 10-yard touchdown strike. The PA all-stars led 7-0 on an extra point from David Soldner. But they weren’t done in the first quarter, Sunseri’s 50-yard run set up the next score by PA. Sunseri threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Saddler. With 1:07 remaining in the first quarter the PA all-stars led 14-0.

A late first quarter fumble by Ohio’s Michael Zordich was recovered by Corey Watts of PA. That helped set up Soldner’s 39-yard field goal. The PA all-stars led 17-0.

Late in the second quarter Adrian Robinson of Harrisburg blocked a punt that Ohio recovered at its own three-yard line. Since Ohio could not convert on fourth down, PA was faced with excellent ball position. This set up a Mike Jones three-yard run giving the PA all-stars a commanding 24-0 lead at halftime.

The Ohio all-stars would get a break in the third quarter when Steve Gardiner intercepted a tipped pass thrown by John Laub of PA. Nine plays later, Zac Dysert hit Michael Shaw, a Michigan recruit, for the seven-yard touchdown pass. The PA all-stars led 24-7. Shaw ended up being Ohio’s most valuable player.

The Ohio all-stars got the ball back. Per Big 33 rules if a team is behind by two or more touchdowns, they receive the ball. It looked like the momentum was going to shift when Isaiah Pead returned the kickoff for Ohio to Ohio’s 47-yard line. But the drive would end when Jared Holley from Easton Area intercepted a Dysert pass in the end zone. Holley would add another interception late in the fourth quarter. Holley’s coach Steve Shiffert said, “He’s going to have a good future and playing in a game like this will help his skills in college.”

Ohio was not done as Ben Buchanan added a field goal by splitting the uprights for a 47-yard field goal. Ohio trailed 24-10.

Maybe the most exciting play of the game came in the fourth quarter when Sunseri hit Saddler for a 79-yard touchdown strike giving the PA all-stars a 31-10 lead with 9:08 to play in the game. Saddler showed his great break away speed on the play.

On the final play of the game with time running out, Ohio succeeded in their drive. Dysert hit Taylor Rice in the corner of the end zone for the twelve-yard touchdown pass. The Pennsylvania all-stars have run off three straight victories over Ohio in recent years to lead the series twelve games to nine.

The PA all-stars were impressive. Saddler had two receptions for 84 yards and two scores including a 79-yard touchdown reception. Baldwin had three receptions for 55 yards and one score. Mike Shanahan out of Norwin caught three passes for 70 yards. On defense Nate Eachus of Hazleton Area had 10 tackles from his linebacker position.

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