Pennsylvania scored 17 points in the second quarter, then weathered seven second-half scoring threats by Maryland before outlasting the underdog visitors, 17-14, in the Big 33 high school all-star football game before 14,139 tonight at Hershey Park Stadium.
Pennsylvania scored first, on a trap play that sprung Raphael Abercrombie (of Aliquippa High School) for a 17-yard touchdown. Dan Crossman's kick made the score 7-0 with 10:23 left in the half.
Two plays later, Pennsylvania defensive tackle Jim Hubicz (Sharon) tipped Pallotti quarterback Mark Ray's pass, and linebacker Scott Gob (Sharon) intercepted it on the Maryland 25 and returned it to the 10. On first down, quarterback Jim Pehanick (North Pocono) fumbled the snap but recovered the ball and raced around left end for another touchdown. Crossman's conversion kick made the score 14-0 with 9:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Maryland's first scoring opportunity came on its next possession. Mitch Bullock (Laurel) directed the offense 64 yards in seven plays to the Pennsylvania 18 before Mark Pizzo (Bishop Egan) recovered a fumble by David Carr (Franklin) on the 13.
Largo's Rodney Metcalf ended Pennsylvania's possession when he intercepted quarterback Damon Phelan's pass on the Maryland 49.
McKeesport linebacker Darnell Warren intercepted Ray's pass on the Pennsylvania 18 and returned it to the Maryland 39. Maryland's defense held and Pennsylvania settled for a 27-yard field goal by Crossman.
Maryland used a short passing game to establish ball control in the second half and counter Pennsylvania's huge linemen. Poolesville's Irvin Smith caught two short passes and Randallstown's Antoine Harris caught one from Ray to set up second down and one at the Pennsylvania nine. Smith then ran around left end for a touchdown. Ray's conversion pass fell incomplete to make the score 17-6, with 6:39 left in the third quarter.
Three plays later, Pennsylvania fumbled to give Maryland possession once again, this time on the Pennsylvania 32. Ray passed to Dunbar's Calvin Williams on the next play for another touchdown, making the score 17-12 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
Maryland had several chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter but was stopped by three interceptions, the last by Warren with 1:30 to play. Maryland's final score had come with 3:49 remaining in the game when Pennsylvania's punter, Scott Erney, intentionally stepped out of the end zone for a safety.
Maryland limited Pennsylvania to 17 yards in the second half. Maryland also dominated the passing statistics as Ray completed 12 of 19 passes for 190 yards, although he was intercepted five times.