Ever since surveyors Mason and Dixon resolved a boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania more than 200 years ago, the two states have been the epitome of good neighbors. That is, until the subject turns to football. Then things break down along strictly partisan lines.

For the past two years, Maryland has played Pennsylvania in the Big 33 high school all-star football game, losing by 17-14 in 1985 and by 21-7 last year. Tonight, when the teams meet again in Hershey, Pa., Maryland Coach Jerry Mears of Meade says things will be different.

"Without a doubt, this is the best team that Maryland has brought to Hershey," said Mears. "I think we just about match up physically, and our intensity and practices have been just great.

"Split end Robert Jackson {of Gaithersburg} could be a game-breaker for us with his speed. We have to find a way to get the ball to him as much as possible. And our offensive line is big, quick and tough."

Oxon Hill's Tom Green (Arizona State) and Gaithersburg's Eric Nichols (Central State) will split time at quarterback for Maryland.

This is the last Maryland-Pennsylvania game in a three-year contract and there is speculation that New Jersey or New York may be asked to take Maryland's place next year. That provides extra incentive for Maryland players such as DeMatha linebacker Andre Jones.

"Maybe this will be the last game, but I want to be able to say that I played on the first Maryland team to win at the Big 33 game," said Jones, who is headed for Notre Dame. "And I don't think Pennsylvania could stand it if we won.

"There's no way that any other state would play in this game until they had a chance to beat us next year."