Primary Production

West Virginia might not have had many players in Saturday's Big 33 game, but the trio that did play were all standouts in the contest.

Penn Hills' Ed Collington scored two touchdowns for Pennsylvania, one on a 70-yard swing pass on the game's opening play, and teammate Carmen Connolly snared three passes for a game high 104 yards. Included in Connolly's total was a 72-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brad Dawson on which he took the ball away from an Ohio defender in the air.

"The play wasn't really designed for me, but I came across and got in the clear," Connolly said of the play. "The defender raked across the ball, like he's taught, but I went up and got a little bit above him, and when I caught it, I wasn't letting anyone tackle me."

Connolly also carried the ball eight times for 28 yards in the pass happy contest, and scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run in the third quarter to draw Pennsylvania within six at 34-28. However, the homestanding Keystone Staters couldn't manage to score again, which allowed Ohio to escape with its third consecutive victory in the series.

Had Pennsylvania chosen to put the ball in the hands of its two most productive players just a few more times, the outcome might have been different. Connolly played sparingly as Pennsylvania shuttled several different wideouts onto the field, and had just six balls thrown in his direction. The sure-handed Seton LaSalle graduate snared three, with the other three being poor tosses that he had little chance of collecting. Connolly made a good catch and outstanding run on Pennsylvania's two-minute drill attempt to tie the score in the closing moments of the game.

"Everybody thinks I am a possession receiver, but I showed on that play I have a few moves, too," said Connolly, who holds the Pennsylvania single-season reception record.

Collingotn, likewise, never got the ball thrown to him again, in spite of the fact that Pennsylvania tried the same play that he broke for his long score on at least two occasions later in the contest.

Depsite their outstanding performances, neither Mountaineer-to-be gained MVP honors. That choice went to Pennsylvania's LaRod Stephens-Howling, who had two catches for 93 yards and a score. The fact that Stephens-Howling is headed to Pitt, and was coached by Bob Palko, whose son Tyler is the Panther quarterback, might be taken into account by some conspiracy theorists.

On the Ohio side, offensive lineman Tim Reed played both guard positions and excelled in pass protection. The WVU-bound walkon did not give up a sack as Ohio passed for 324 yards on the evening.

"I practiced at both guard spots and center this week, so I was ready for it," said Reed. "Pass blocking is harder than run blocking, because you have the guy coming at you with speed, and you don't want to get your quarterback hurt," Reed said afterward.

Ohio held on to win the game, 34-28.


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