Not much doing for Buckeyes
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. — After three consecutive victories, Ohio’s recent momentum was stopped in its tracks during Wednesday’s 40th annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic.
Pennsylvania took advantage of Buckeye miscues for all three scores, while the defense hung tough as the Keystoners rolled to a 21-0 victory at Geneva College’s Reeves Field.
It was the first Keystoner win since the 2015 contest, and the third shutout in the history of the series.
“We wanted the win, but it was a good experience to play with different people,” East Liverpool running back Jalen Moman said. “I had a lot of fun.”
On a night when offense was hard to come by, Moman led the Buckeyes with 49 rushing yards on nine carries to take home offensive MVP honors for the Ohio side.
“I said at halftime that I wanted to win the MVP,” Moman said. “I just tried to do my best out here for my team. I had a great tome playing with my (East Liverpool) teammates one more time. I’ve been with them for life and it’s going to feel different without them.”
The defensive MVP for Ohio was Springfield linebacker Zack Stouffer, who helped lead a Buckeye defense which held Pennsylvania to just 120 yards of total offense.
“It was a great experience,” Stouffer said. “I also played in the North-South game and they were both a lot of fun. I loved getting to take the field one more time with my Springfield teammates.”
The Keystoners got a golden opportunity late in the first quarter when Ohio punter Gunner McIntosh from United accidentally had his knee hit the turf while receiving a snap, giving Pennsylvania the ball at the Ohio 22. The Keystoners wasted no time cashing in when Our Lady of The Sacred Heart’s Tyler Bradley found Central Valley’s Anthony Mendicino for a 22-yard touchdown pass on the next play, giving Pennsylvania a 7-0 lead with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Pennsylvania added to its lead late in the second quarter by putting together an 11-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown lob from Bradley to his fellow quarterback Brodie List from Beaver.
Bradley took home offensive MVP honors for Pennsylvania, going 5-for-13 for 65 yards and two touchdown passes.
The second Keystoner touchdown drive was aided by pass interference, defensive holding and offsides penalties by Ohio.
The Buckeyes also had a big run by Western Reserve’s Adam Gatrell called back by a holding penalty early in the second quarter.
Both offenses had a hard time finding a consistent rhythm in the first half. Moman gave the Buckeyes a spark with a few nice runs, but Ohio didn’t make it past the Pennsylvania 42 in the first two quarters.
Ohio got six first downs to Pennsylvania’s two in the second half, but had two long drives fizzle short of the end zone.
The Buckeyes turned the ball over on downs at the Keystoner 32 with 6:00 left in the third after a sack by Beaver linebacker Noah Yates, who was the defensive MVP for Pennsylvania. Ohio again turned the ball over on downs at the Pennsylvania 20 with 5:30 left in the game.
With 2:52 left, Yates capped off his MVP performance when he picked off a Brannon Brungard pass and raced 45 yards into the endzone to make it 21-0.
East Palestine quarterback Parker Sherry gave Ohio a bit of a boost in the fourth quarter and finished with 48 yards of total offense. Despite the loss, one of the most prolific signal callers in the area enjoyed his final high school experience.
“It was a fun week of practice getting to play with all these guys and it was nice getting to meet the coaches from East Liverpool and seeing how they do things,” Sherry said. “I had a great time. The most fun thing was the competition every single day.”
That theme was echoed by the other Ohio players.
“I’m not going to college, so this was one more chance for me to come out here and do what I love,” Stouffer said.
• The only other East Liverpool MVP was Kevin Smith in 1990. The only other Springfield MVP was Todd Huda in 1994.
• The other two shutouts were both courtesy of Pennsylvania. The Keystoners won 34-0 in 1989 and 28-0 in 1999.
• Ohio outgained Pennsylvania 157-120 and had an 11-7 edge in first downs, but committed 10 penalties for 84 yards.
• Pennsylvania now leads the series 27-13.
• Tempers flared in the final couple of minutes leading to one Ohio and one Pennsylvania player being ejected.
• Sherry will report to Bowling Green on July 28 where he will try and make the team as a walk-on.
“I got to go up there for a lot of spring practices and the coach (Scott Loeffler) is awesome,” Sherry said. “He reminds me of coach (Andy) Hake from Western Reserve. He’s always pushing the guys; he wants everything perfect. I absolutely love that kind of coaching.”
• As part of the 40th anniversary of the game, 1980 Ohio co-head coaches John Gecina and Artie Altomare were recognized at midfield before the game.
Gecina grew up in Monaca, Pa., and played in a midget football championship game at Reeves Field.
All former players and coaches were also recognized between the first and second quarters.
• Legendary former Blackhawk coach Joe Hamilton coached the Pennsylvania squad Wednesday. Hamilton coached the Keystoners in the original Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic in 1980. In 39 years at Blackhawk, Hamilton won 295 games and four Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League titles. He stepped down from his position in 2015.
P–Anthony Mendicino 22 pass from Tyler Bradley (Nick Ruperto kick)
P –Brodie List 3 pass from Tyler Bradley (Ruperto kick)
P–Noah Yates 45 interception return (Ruperto kick)
First downs 11 7
Total Yards 157 120
Rushes-yards 34-108 20-35
Passing 49 85
Comp-Att-Int 9-26-1 7-17-0
Punts 6-23.5 4-27.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 10-84 2-33
RUSHING-Ohio, Jalen Moman (East Liverpool) 9-49, Parker Sherry (East Palestine) 8-22, Adam Gatrell (Western Reserve) 4-21, Andrew Yanssens (Crestview) 4-15; Pennsylvania, Avante Mackenzie (Aliquippa) 9-33.
PASSING-Ohio, Parker Sherry (East Palestine) 4-10-26-0, Brennon Norris (Indian Creek) 3-11-11-0, Brannon Brungard (Springfield) 2-5-12-1; Pennsylvania, Tyler Bradley (Our Lady of The Sacred Heart) 5-13-65-0, Brodie List (Beaver) 2-4-20-0
RECEIVING-Ohio, Turner Johnson (Salem) 1-12, Justin Sweeney (Lisbon) 2-10, Matt Mamula (Indian Creek) 2-10, Dylan Huff (Crestview) 2-10; Pennsylvania, Caleb Schuler (New Brighton) 2-29, Anthony Mendicino (Central Valley) 1-22, Richard Banks (Our Lady of The Sacred Heart) 1-16, Dante Collins (Beaver Falls) 1-14.
INTERCEPTIONS-Pennsylvania, Noah Yates.