Team Pennsylvania Tops Team Maryland in Big 33 Classic
"We struggled because we weren't firing on all cylinders quite yet," Team Maryland linebacker Amir Fenwick (Douglass-PG), who registered a fumble recovery, said. "As the game went on, we started to get more together. If we would have played the full game we would have clicked, which would have put us in great shape."
Team Maryland was able to consistently stop Team Pennsylvania's offense. The problem was their ability to prevent the big play- Team Pennsylvania scored touchdowns on passing plays of 63 yards, 26 yards and 86 yards.
"Defensively speaking, they just got a couple big plays- Team PA only had four first downs the whole half," Team Maryland assistant coach Mike Neubeiser said. "They barely had any rushing yards, we were feeling good about our defense. We just had a couple slipups- the three deep balls they got us on. But overall I was happy with the defense. The front seven played exceptionally well and we just had a couple mistakes that Team PA took advantage of."
On offense, Team Maryland put together some good drives but were unable to convert them to points. They were led by quarterback David Pindell (Oakland Mills) and running back Ray Gray (Urbana), who rushed for 59 yards on 7 carries and earned Team Maryland MVP honors. The only points of the game for Team Maryland came when kicker Sean Bowling (North Harford) put the ball through the goalposts on the first play of the second quarter. Bowling had the unique distinction of being the only kicker/punter selected to the Team Maryland roster.
"It is definitely something special- there was a lot of pressure on me to come out and do my job," Bowling said. "There was definitely a lot of added pressure, being the only kicker selected to the team. But it has been a really special feeling knowing that I am viewed as one of the top kickers in the state of Maryland."
In the second half, Team Maryland planned to exploit Team Pennsylvania's lack of speed at defensive end to mount their comeback. A lot of that hinged on quarterback David Pindell's speed and ability to read the defense.
"It was a good experience just getting to know all the players and the best athletes in the state of Maryland," Pindell said. "We came together and tried to go with a fast-paced offense. We did the best that we could."
While the result, as well as the length of the game, wasn't what Team Maryland had envisioned, it was still a great week for the players, as well as the coaching staff.
"I am going to remember how the kids came together and gave us their full effort- they really became a tightknit group," Neubeiser said. "The comradery they showed for the team is something I will never forget."
Fenwick also ended his time with the Big 33 with great memories.
"Playing with my new teammates is something I will never forget, bonding with them and such," Fenwick said. "Any player who gets selected really should take part in the Big 33. The host families are great and the coaches are great. The buddy system is also great because you get a chance to change their lives. It's a great experience all together."
|June 22nd, 2015||By: Wick Eisenberg|