Ohio Wins Third Big 33 in a Row in Blowout Fashion
By Tony Gerdeman
Led by an MVP performance from Youngstown Ursuline running back Akise Teague, Ohio laid a consistent hammering down on Pennsylvania, taking the Big 33 Football Classic for a third year in a row, this time by the score of 50-14. The 36-point margin represents the largest in the Classic's history between Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Teague only carried the ball eight times but scored twice on runs of 52 and 20 yards. He finished the game with 102 yards rushing. He also had two receptions for 66 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown on broken coverage down the middle of the field.
Ohio started the game by intercepting Pennsylvania quarterback Matt Johnson's pass thanks to pressure from defensive end Keith Heitzman who will be attending Michigan. Gabe Gilbert came away with the interception, which was thrown directly into his arms.
Ohio couldn't capitalize on the field position, finishing the drive with a missed field goal. They opened the next drive with a 33-yard pass down the sideline to future Buckeye Devin Smith but again the drive stalled with a missed field goal.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Cardale Jones then came into the game at quarterback for Ohio and snagged a high snap that he was somehow able to hand off to Teague who then scampered 52 yards for a touchdown under and around every Pennsylvania defender who dared to enter his personal space.
The next drive showcased more Teague, and it ended with a 20-yard touchdown run from the future Cincinnati Bearcat featuring jukes inside of other jukes - yes, subliminal jukes. The touchdown was set up by a perfect 45-yard pass from Jones to Tyler Williams who was the MVP of the Ohio North-South Classic earlier in the spring.
Pennsylvania finally got on the board following a Connor Cook interception. They started the drive at the Ohio 24-yard line and fullback Sean Barowski, who won the Pennsylvania MVP honors, scored from five yards out on a draw play to make it 14-7 Ohio.
Ohio and Cardale Jones answered right back on the next possession. Jones found a streaking Devin Smith down the right side of the field for a 54-yard touchdown making it 21-7.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Pennsylvania responded, driving down inside the Ohio redzone, but an errant throw and great anticipation from Ohio State bound cornerback Doran Grant saw the future Buckeye drop off his man and intercept the pass at the one-yard line before taking a step or two into the endzone. He then brought the ball out and followed a convoy of blockers for a 100-yard touchdown return.
Jones started the second hal, f and as he had done on his first three possessions, led the Buckeyes down the field for a touchdown. This drive was capped by a 40-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Akise Teague running free down the middle of the field.
Connor Cook joined in on the fun with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Smith in the fourth quarter. For some reason, likely a good one, Ohio faked their extra point and ran the ball in for a two-point conversion, making it 43-7.
Pennsylvania finally got another answer as Matt Johnson found Quinton Sullivan for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Ohio finished the scoring late in the fourth quarter with a Keith Heitzman one-yard plunge.
Assorted Thoughts on Individual Performances
Devin Smith, WR Massillon 6'3” 190 (Ohio State)
Pennsylvania had no answers for Smith at any point in the game. Their best option was simply to hope Smith would drop it, or the quarterback wouldn't locate him. He ran free the entire game. He will be rooming with incoming receiver Evan Spencer, and together they could form quite a solid duo in the very near future.
Cardale Jones, QB Glenville 6'5” 225 (Ohio State)
Jones got my vote for MVP with his 4-6 160 yards passing and two touchdown performance because he led his team to touchdowns on his first four possessions. Teague was the best player on the field, but Jones made this a much more complete team. He showed amazing touch on the deep passes and was dropping passes in perfectly. He showed plenty of escapability, at one point running about 60 yards for a loss of a couple. He will be headed to Fork Union this season and then to Ohio State in January.
Doran Grant, CB Akron SVSM 5'11” 188 (Ohio State)
I don't believe Grant had given up a catch until right before his interception. Either he baited the quarterback into going after him again, or he was seeking revenge. Once he snagged the ball, he had no intention of taking a knee in the endzone and immediately turned it upfield like a playmaker should. He's an easy guy to forget about because the offense avoids him.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Chase Farris, DL Elyria 6'6” 270 (Ohio State)
Farris, who said he's right around 270 pounds at the moment, played both inside and outside. He did a nice job of chasing plays down. The stat sheet showed him with zero sacks, but I showed him with at least two. Believe who you want.
Antonio Underwood, OG Shaker Heights 6'3” 295 (Ohio State)
Underwood did a nice job in pass protection, allowing his quarterbacks plenty of time to look deep down the field. He also stayed on his run blocks long enough to allow running backs Teague and Williams to cut back into open spaces. He's listed at 295 pounds, and he almost seems slim.
Nick Vannett, TE Westerville Central 6'6” 240 (Ohio State)
Vannett is just a huge target. He was only thrown at a couple of times, but since he's going to Ohio State, he's going to have to get used to it sooner or later. He showed some ability to get down the field, but he'll make his money in the intermediate areas after a quick break off.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Steve Miller, DE Canton McKinley 6'4” 242 (Ohio State)
According to the stat sheet, Miller didn't have any tackles. He had some pressures, but it was a relatively quiet night for him. I still haven't been blown away by Miller in any of the three or four times I've seen him.
Tyler Williams, RB/ATH Cincinnati Colerain 5'6” 150 (Akron)
Williams was the MVP of the Ohio North-South game. He rushed for 74 yards on five carries and had a tremendous 45-yard over the shoulder catch that most 5'6” guys aren't going to come up with. I refuse to believe that this kid can't make some kind of impact in the MAC. He's just too quick and his vision is too good.
Connor Cook, QB Akron Walsh Jesuit 6'5” 210 (Michigan State)
This is my second time seeing Cook, the first being the Ohio North-South game. I have yet to be impressed. His accuracy lacks, especially on the move. He's a project.
Antonio Poole, LB Cincinnati Winton Woods 6'0” 195 (Michigan)
I think Poole may have been the most impressive defensive player on the field. He's only listed at 6'0” 195 pounds, but he sticks ball-carriers right between the numbers and they stay stuck. When he's in pursuit, he looks much bigger than he is. He certainly hits much bigger than he is. He may not be big enough to play linebacker in the Big Ten right now, but the Wolverines may not be able to wait.
Akise Teague, RB Youngstown Ursuline 5'9” 178 (Cincinnati)
He's simply the best player on the field. Talking to a local before the game they asked me who to keep an eye on. I told them Teague. He has a remarkable ability to make defenders look like it's their first day of playing football. He holds the football in one hand, and the defense in the other. He is an amazing player.
Trayion Durham, DL/LB Cincinnati Colerain 6'2” 245 (Kent State)
In the first half, if there was a big play on defense it was either Antonio Poole or Durham making it. He played on the line and behind the line, and he was always attacking. He wants a shot at running back, but new head coach Darrell Hazell may not be able to pry him free from the defensive coaches.
Andrew Smith, LB Cincinnati Colerain 6'2” 215 (Northwestern)
Smith was just a notch below Poole and Durham early on, but he made plays throughout the game and showed impressive burst towards the ball. He ran down the line of scrimmage very well and kept plays from becoming bigger than they needed to be.
Shawn Oakman, ATH Pennwood 6'9” 255 (Penn State)
The same local that I told to watch out for Teague told me to watch out for Oakman. I forgot. I don't think it mattered because I never heard his name. He's listed at 6'9” 255, and the only time I saw him was when he pushed off trying to catch a pass late in the game.
Ejuan Price, LB Woodland Hills 6'0” 230 (Pittsburgh)
The former Ohio State signee has been given his release and will be attending Pitt. I didn't really notice him during the game, and don't recall hearing his name until the fourth quarter. He was listed as having made two tackles.
Sean Barowski, FB Bishop McDevitt 6'1” 240 (Rutgers)
Barowski was the MVP for Pennsylvania thanks to his four carries and 25 yards rushing, including a five-yard touchdown. I mention him mainly because I sat next to his grandfather, who went on to tell me all things Barowski. Barowski's father played running back for Joe Paterno until Paterno moved him to linebacker and he transferred to Syracuse. I told the eldest Barowski that fullbacks at Rutgers carry the ball and he said that's exactly what Greg Schiano told them throughout the recruiting process.
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