Pennsylvania Rolls in Big 33 Classic

Keystone State all-stars beat up Ohio 31-16 as PSU recruits stood out. Pennsylvania won the battle in the trenches. Its defense set the tone for the game, pitching a shutout in the first half and cruising to victory. (Update: FOS Audio post game comments added.)

Pennsylvania dominated Ohio in the 51st annual Big 33 Classic in Hershey, winning 31-16. And the Penn State recruits representing the Keystone State were an important part of the performance.

Post Game Audio Comments

  • David Solder:
  • Matt Stankiewitch:
  • Mark Wedderburn:
  • Mike Yancich:

    The Pennsylvania defense got off to a strong start, stuffing Ohio and forcing a punt. The Pennsylvania offense then signaled its intention to throw early and often, as Tino Sunseri completed a 36-yard pass down the right sideline to a streaking Jonathan Baldwin.

    Both players are Pitt recruits.

    A double personal foul penalty on the next play moved Pennsylvania 30 yards closer, and four plays later, Sunseri found Baldwin again for a 10-yard scoring strike. David Soldner made it 7-0 Pa.

    Ohio could manage only a three and out, and Pennsylvania went back to work. But the second Pennsylvania drive stalled, and Soldner's attempt at a 52-yard field goal fell short.

    Ohio had its only scoring chance of the first half on the next drive, picking up a pair of first downs, but a pair of Pennsylvania sacks stopped the drive and forced an Ohio field-goal attempt. Andrew Taglianetti rounded the right end untouched to block the 40-yard try.

    Pennsylvania would not be denied, and drove for its second touchdown of the quarter on the next drive, capped by a Sunseri pass to Cameron Saddler. Soldner tacked on the PAT to complete the first-quarter scoring.

    Pennsylvania picked up in the second quarter where it left off in the first, as Soldner booted a 39-yard field goal early. The Pennsylvania and Ohio defenses stiffened, but the Keytone Staters put another score on the board just before the half when Mike Jones rushed for a 3-yard TD following a blocked punt. The score at the half was Pennsylvania 24, Ohio 0.

    Ohio finally got on the board on its second possession of the second half after a 10-play drive when quarterback Zac Dysert hit Michael Shaw for a short touchdown. Ohio added a field goal early in the fourth quarter before Sunseri connected with Saddler again, this time for a spectacular 79-yard touchdown strike which sent many spectators toward the exits.

    Ohio added a touchdown as the clock expired, and there was no PAT attempt as the teams rushed the field to congratulate each other. Mark Brennan's impressions of the future Nittany Lions in the game follow:

    Mark Wedderburn was recruited as a tight end at Penn State. But a lack of depth forced him to play D-end in this game. He dominated, with a handful of tackles and several batted passes. He also excelled at forcing the offensive action inside.

    Pete Massaro saw time at defensive tackle and end, and had a key first-quarter sack. He did a solid job keeping contain.

    • Massive defensive tackle Brandon Ware started at the nose and helped completely shut down Ohio's inside running game.

    • Center Matt Stankiewitch started and was the anchor of an offensive front that controlled the line of scrimmage.

    • Walk-on kicker David Soldner was 1 of 2 on field goals and perfect on extra point attempts

    There was only one Penn Stater on the Ohio roster. LB/RB Michael Zordich caused one fumble as a linebacker, fumbled himself of a bad handoff on offense and made a heads-up play as the up man on a blocked punt that delayed — for a moment — an Pennsylvania score.

    Another Penn State recruit — linebacker Michael Yanich — was projected as a starter for Pennsylvania. But he injured an elbow during practice and is not playing. He was, however, on the sideline supporting his teammates.

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