Big 33 Brings Highs, Lows

The final high school game of five players headed to West Virginia University had a wide range of outcomes and levels of success for the future Mountaineers.

First, of course, was the score, which was a lopsided 38-7 victory for the Ohio team. Playing against the stacked deck of a home state crowd in Hershey, Pa., the visitors took the initiative from the opening play and never let up.

One of the stars of the game was Ohio defensive back Davanzo Tate, who picked off one pass, deflected at least two others and recovered a fumble in Ohio's dominating defensive effort.

"I just wanted to come out and prove to everyone that I could play with the best of the best," Tate told after the game. "We played with a lot of energy coming out. Unfortunately, we didn't get the shutout, but we got the "W".

Also on the winning end was defensive lineman Keilen Dykes, who put constant pressure on Pennsylvania's quarterbacks. Dykes recorded one sack and got a couple of hits on on teammate-to-be Adam Bednarik, who shared quarterbacking duties on the Pennsylvania squad.

Dykes, who recently learned that he has qualified academically, could provide a bit of help for West Virginia's undersized defensive line immediately this fall.

At the other end of the spectrum, Pennsylvania defensive back Vince Beamer hurt his hamstring on the opening play from scrimmage and was forced to the bench for the remainder of the contest. It was a disappointing end to Beamer's stellar high school career, but he took it in stride.

"The hamstring was bothering me on Monday and Tuesday, but it went away," Beamer said of the injury. "I was just chasing the ball carrier and it pulled on me."

Beamer's teammates, Bednarik and defensive back Eric Wicks, had more success in the losing cause. Bednarik scored the Keystone State's only touchdown on a quarterback draw in the fourth quarter, while Wicks pulled double duty as both a defensive back and a wide receiver.

With their high school careers now closed, the five all-stars are setting their sights on heading to West Virginia to begin working on their college careers. Tate and Dykes will head to the University city on Sunday, with their teammates following shortly.

Fall football practice begins on August 4. In a change from last year, there is no early reporting for freshman - the entire team will begin practice together on the same date.

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