Ohio holds on for third straight

Beaver Local’s Michael Clendenning carries the ball as Pennsylvania’s Mahlik Strozier (12 of Rochester) and Noah Drudy of Hopewell go for the tackle during the Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic on Thursday in Salem. (Photo by Dan Santarelli)

SALEM–After helping author one of the greatest football seasons in South Range history, Raider seniors Mathias Combs and Peyton Remish teamed up to create one more memory Thursday at the 39th annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic.

Combs hauled in a pair of long touchdown passes on his way to offensive MVP honors while Remish snagged the defensive MVP for his work at linebacker as the Buckeyes held off the Keystoners 22-20 at Reilly Stadium.

While it obviously couldn’t compare to the thrill of helping lead the Raiders to the state semifinals, the two were nonetheless very satisfied to conclude their high school careers on a high note.

“This in probably the best feeling I had in a long time,” Combs said. “I missed football a lot. To go out and play with these guys and then to have us both get MVPs was a lot of fun.”

Combs used his blazing speed to haul in six catches for a game-high 121 yards. He got the scoring started by catching a 34-yard strike from West Branch’s T.J. DeShields to give the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead with 6:48 left in the first. He stretched the lead to 20-7 midway through the second quarter when Salem’s Mitch Davidson found him in stride with a perfectly thrown 62-yard bomb.

“On the second one I actually got held for the first 15 yards of it and I didn’t think I was going to be able to catch up,” Combs said.

Remish gave the Buckeyes a 22-7 lead in the third quarter when he swarmed Moon quarterback Cole Konieczka in the end zone for a safety. The Keystoners made it interesting the rest of the way, highlighted by an 82-yard kickoff return in the third quarter by Seneca Valley’s Jacob Bernofsky, but Columbiana’s Zach Phillips sealed the win for Ohio with an interception at the Ohio 40 with 18 seconds to go.

“That was a lot of fun,” Remish said. “We played against some really good players and everyone had a good time. “We’re all from different schools, but everyone got along well.”

Game notes

¯ Combs and Remish are the first South Range players to win MVP in the history of the Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic.

¯ Columbiana kicker Jared Bryarly nearly matched his regular season production Thursday. Bryarly gave the Buckeyes a key boost with field goals of 29 and 34 yards in the first half. He had three field goals in the regular season for the Clippers.

¯ Beaver Local’s Michael Clendenning and Southern’s Will Grodhaus were a solid backfield duo for Ohio as they combined for 89 rushing yards.

¯ Konieczka was named the offensive MVP for Pennsylvania. Defensive back Kyle Marweg from Riverside was the defensive MVP.

¯ Pennsylvania’s lead in the series has now been trimmed to 26-13. Ohio will go for four in a row next year at Geneva College.

¯ Pennsylvania did not register a first down until midway through the second quarter.

¯ The 50/50 prize was $652.

PENN: 0-7-6-7–20

OHIO: 10-10-2-0–22

SCORING

O–Mathias Combs 34 pass from T.J. DeShields (Jared Bryarly kick)

O–Jared Bryarly 29 FG

O–Jared Bryarly 34 FG

P–Keshawn Sheppard 35 pass from Cole Konieczka (Carson Gilarno kick)

O–Mathias Combs 62 pass from Mitch Davidson (Bryarly kick)

O–Safety (Peyton Remish sacked Cole Konieczka in end zone)

P–Jacob Bunofsky 82 kickoff return (kick failed)

P–Dozhay Crumb 10 pass from Cole Konieczka (Gilarno kick)

P O

First Downs 9 17

Total yards 245 304

Rushes-Yards 31-52 38-119

Comp-Att-Int 16-33-2 14-22-3

Punts 4-33 2-33

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 3-30 4-40

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING-Penn, Caleb Collins (Rochester) 12-31, Torian Leak (Beaver Falls) 4-28; Ohio, Michael Clendenning (Beaver Local) 14-53, Will Grodhaus (Southern) 9-36; Peyton Remish (South Range) 8-36.

PASSING- Penn, Cole Konieczka (Moon) 16-33-193-2; Ohio, Mitch Davidson (Salem) 8-14-119-2, T.J. DeShields (West Branch) 6-8-71-1.

RECEIVING-Penn, Jacob Burnofsky (Seneca Valley) 6-86; Ohio, Mathias Combs (South Range) 6-121, Will Grodhaus (Southern) 4-28, Branden Kemp (East Palestine) 3-21.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES-Ohio, Danny Moore (Crestview), Penn, Mahki Robinson (Ambridge)

INTERCEPTIONS-Penn, Lance Hill (Laurel), Kyle Marweg (Riverside), Mahlik Strozier (Rochester); Ohio Zach Phillips (Columbiana), Geno DiBiase (Steubenville Catholic Central)

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