Saturday was the annual Big 33 game between high school football stars from Pennsylvania and Ohio. This game is usually a showcase for several incoming Ohio State and Penn State freshmen. But this year the Buckeyes didn't have a single recruit in the game and the Penn State contingent was much smaller than usual. More on that later. First let's go over how the future Nittany Lions did.
Wide receiver Derek Moye had a stellar game for the Pennsylvania Squad. With five catches for 76 yards and a second half touchdown, Moye was the favorite target of quarterback Dan Persa. Eye witness accounts I've seen indicate Moye showed great speed, good hands, and the ability to make some moves and get good YAC.
Athlete Drew Astorino played mostly defense in the game. While he didn't have a very impressive stat line, he had a few critical pass defenses to help halt a few Ohio drives.
Future Nittany Lion linebacker Nate Stupar suffered a nagging groin injury during practice leading up to the game. In the game he played exclusively at the standup defensive end. He rushed the quarterback all day and flushed him from the pocket several times before recording one of Pennsylvania's eight sacks in the game.
Pennsylvania won the game by a score of 28-10. The win marked the second in a row for the Pennsylvania team. The MVP of the game was PA quarterback Dan Persa. Persa ran for 65 yards on 11 carries to lead all rushers. He also completed 6 of 8 passing. Persa accounted for three of PA's touchdowns. Two of them he scored by foot with runs of 25 and 11 yards. The third was the 12 yard touchdown pass to Moye. Big Ten fans should get used to hearing Persa's name. He's committed to play for Northwestern this fall, so we'll see Stupar chasing him around for the next four years.
Let's Go Completely Off Topic
It's time to kill the Big 33 game. I'm aware this is a 25 year tradition. I know of all the players in the Big 33 game that have gone on to play in the pros and win Super Bowls. But it's time to own up to the fact that the Ohio football coaches don't care anymore. This year none of the top 15 players in the state of Ohio were in the game. Instead they elected to play in the Ohio North-South All Star game, which just happens to fall on the same day as the Big 33 game.
Let's face it. Pennsylvania is locked into a marriage where one of the partners wants out. The state of Ohio considers their North-South game to be the real game. The Big 33 is the consolation game for the kids who didn't make the North-South game.
Pennsylvania could keep sending their best players to play against Ohio's second rate players and keep winning games by two or three touchdowns, but that wouldn't be fair to put the best Pennsylvania players in a game that won't get any coverage in Ohio. The Pennsylvania high school coaches should just accept the fact Ohio doesn't want to play this game anymore and abandon it in favor of an All Pennsylvania East-West All Star game.