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Written by: David Burnworth on Saturday, June 26th, 2021
Friday, after leaving work I basically rushed to East Liverpool, Ohio to catch the All-Star game between Ohio and Pa. This marked the third time covering this one, so going in I had a pretty good feel for the rivalry attached to this one. The game itself was very entertaining with Ohio unofficially have a 371 to 264-yard total yardage advantage. Both teams threw two picks but it was the Ohio 2nd one that cost them the game.
Brad Sloan would make a nice 11-yard run for Ohio to move the chains on third and four. The Pennsylvania defense would stand tall forcing a punt a short time later. Xathon Cross would leave his mark on the quarter when he recovered a Rashawn Reid fumble that was caused by Anthony Bryarly. Then later in the quarter Cross would pick off a pass. The Pennsylvania offense would have the last laugh in the scoreless quarter when Elias Bishop hauled in a nicely thrown pass from Aden Almashy.
With 11:13 left in the half, we would see our first score of the game when Josh Hathaway would race to pay dirt from 12-yards out. The point-after kick was good off of the foot of Garrett Paxton making this a 7-0 game. Ohio would waste no time in tying this one up, with Austin Tindale making a catch, breaking a tackle then going 82 yards for the score. Clay Medvec made good on the conversion kick. After getting the ball back later in the quarter Ohio would convert a fourth and two when Marco Ferry used some nice work from his linemen and a lot of power to move the chains. The Pennsylvania defense would force the home team to go for a long 41-yard field goal that Medvec easily made to give Ohio the 10-7 lead. It appears that Youngstown State will have a good one kicking for them this season. The rest of the quarter would be dominated by Ohio but again the Pennsylvania defense again would come up big when it had to. First, Ferry would break two tackles again showing that power on his way to a fine 21-yard gain. Ferry will be headed to Ohio State. Keaton Baker would haul in a Brock Hiller for 12-yards. But as I said the Pennsylvania defense, actually their specials teams came up big when Mitch Miles blocked the Medvec field goal attempt.
Dalton Dobyns would have his number called and he delivered for Pennsylvania but he was crushed on the play by Howard Williams causing the incoming Michigan State Spartan to leave the game with an injury. The hard-hitting Ohio defense would see Cross knock the ball away from Dawson Snyder to bring up a fourth down. Ohio ould have the ball back and with 5:02 left in the quarter they had to convert a fourth and one to keep the drive going and they did just that with Ferry carrying the ball.
Again the Pennsylvania defense would come up big after Ohio perfected half of a hook and ladder play. After the catch was made the pitch was wide of its target making an easy recovery by Tyler Ziggas. A little over a minute later West Virginia recruit Almashy would be picked off by Ohio’s Matt Schaefer. The Pennsylvania defense again made quick work of the Ohio offense and then Reid made up for his earlier fumble by showing off his crazy speed gaining 34-yards. That was followed by a nice 12-yard run from Hathaway. A 34-yard touchdown pass from Cole Beck (Grove City College recruit) to Bishop followed by the conversion kick gave Pennsylvania the 13-10 lead with 13>4 seconds left in the quarter. The Ohio defense played very well overall in this one but without any disrespect intended did not get much from their offense. The quarter ended with Jacob Forrest tipping an Ohio pass that was intercepted by Brady Panucci.
The Ohio defense stopped Pennsylvania on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line when Beck was stuffed by Clayton Nezbeth. Ohio would get things going on the ensuing drive with Ferry breaking off a big 59-yard run. The six-play 99-yard drive ended on a 15-yard touchdown run from Hillyer making this a 17-10 game. William Hardenbrook knocked down an Almashy pass to bring up fourth and thirteen for Pennsylvania, with 4:16, left. Ohio’s defense had basically stopped the Pennsylvania offense all game long with the exception of the 10-play, 80-yard drive Pennsylvania had not been able to work the ball downfield for a score. After Ohio got the ball back they faced a third and long with 2;33 left. Most everyone around me figured a draw play or a run of some sort would be called and then a punt allowing Pennsylvania two minutes or less to work the ball downfield for a score. But Ohio called a pass, that was poorly thrown and easily picked by Dawson Snyder, who used some great field vision, some nice downfield blocking, and very poor attempted tackles to take the intercepted all the way to the house for what turned out to be the game-winning score. Ohio’s last attempt to make a comeback ended when DaQuan Bradford sacked Hillyer.
Final score Pennsylvania 20 Ohio 17
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