Pennsylvania Outlasts Ohio in Big 33 Classic

By Lafferty, Tricia | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 18, 2006 | Go to article overview

Pennsylvania Outlasts Ohio in Big 33 Classic


Lafferty, Tricia, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


HERSHEY -- WPIAL products put on quite a show just when Pennsylvania needed it most in Saturday night's Big 33 Classic at Hershey Park Stadium in front of 14,043 fans.

Pennsylvania scored 47 second-half points -- thanks largely to western Pennsylvania standouts -- to defeat Ohio, 61-42, snapping a three-year losing streak.

"The win feels real good; we were due for a victory," said Duquesne grad and Pitt recruit Elijah Fields, who suffered a 51-29 loss on the same field in the state championship. "I was going to redeem myself. I had it in my mind that I was going to get a win here."

In the final 24 minutes, Fields intercepted three passes and returned one for a touchdown. South Park's Connor Dixon recorded one rushing and one passing touchdown, and Gateway receiver David Williams caught two touchdown passes in the second half.

Williams was named Pennsylvania's Most Valuable Player after catching three touchdown passes for 95 yards on the evening. Fields recorded two consecutive interceptions en route to Pennsylvania's first lead of the game. Overall, Dixon had three touchdowns, including a 56-yard run and 38- and 67-yard passes.

"We made a good statement," Williams said. "We let everyone know that the WPIAL comes strong."

Pennsylvania found itself behind early after committing three consecutive turnovers to open the game.

Less than a minute into the first quarter, Ohio running back Delone Carter rushed for a 22-yard touchdown after quarterback Pat Devlin threw an interception on the second play of the game. On Pennsylvania's second drive, Devlin threw another interception, but Ohio was unable to capitalize.

Dixon replaced Penn State-bound Devlin at the 7:39 mark of the first quarter before Dixon committed Pennsylvania's third consecutive turnover when a bad snap caused him to fumble. Ohio took a 10-0 lead when kicker David Brewer finished the drive with a 25- yard field goal.

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