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Pennsylvania Blows Big 33 Lead

"It was a bitter thing to swallow," Pennsylvania quarterback Anthony Gonzalez said. "They are a good team. We wanted to win, but they made the plays at the end, and we fell short."


And that was the story of the evening for your Pennsylvania high schoolers as they fell to Ohio 18-15 in a turnover marred Big 33 Football Classic last night at Hersheypark Stadium.

After a safety in the first half, Penn State recruit Alex Kenney staked Pennsylvania to a nice 9-0 lead in the third quarter with a 48-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tyler Smith.

Then Ohio responded, first with a 74-yard jaunt by quarterback Verlon Reed, then a 33-yard field goal by Casey Spear, giving the Buckeye-staters a 10-9 lead with under 4:00 remaining.

Pitt recruit Gonzalez took Pennsylvania right back down the field, finding fellow Pitter Andrew Carswell for the go-ahead score.  After a Kenney reception was called back on the two point attempt by a holding call, PA led 15-10 with a minute and change, but within seconds, Ohio had the decisive score on a pass from Mark Myers to Christian Bryant.

It was a mixed bag of results for Penn State's recruits.  Offensively, there wasn't much to speak of beyond Kenney's touchdown and a nice catch for a first down along the sideline by Ryan Keiser, though both were great plays.

Defensively, Jon Duckett played well, registering some nice tackles and forcing a fumble, but was broken badly by Reed on a big run on Ohio's winning drive.  Shyquawn Pullium broke up a pass with a big hit early on, but got slapped with an interference call later in the game, and wasn't involved in much down the stretch. 

Kenney was back on a few kicks, but didn't look particularly good.  He got rocked on one of his first returns of the game, muffed a punt, and mostly called fair-catch on the others.

Some video highlights.  If you're prone to photosensitive seizures, you probably want to avoid this.  Kenney's touchdown comes at 3:48.

For a little more video, Rivals has some (free) video with Duckett and Keiser from earlier in the week.

So, not a good night if you live and die with the Pennsylvania team in this game, but from a Penn State perspective, the new kids did ok.