Ohio rallies to victory in the end
BEAVER FALLS, Pa. — The 43rd annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic came down to a future teammate combination in which the Ohio squad pulled out a last-minute touchdown to knock off Pennsylvania, 35-28, at Geneva College on Thursday.
Regular-season enemies turned teammates –Springfield quarterback Beau Brungard and South Range running back Dylan Dominguez, a pair of Youngstown State recruits — connected on an 11-yard wheel route with 22 seconds remaining as Ohio rallied from a 28-27 deficit.
A two-point conversion pass from Brungard to Tiger teammate Aaron Groner provided the final points in the contest.
“Wow. It was pure excitement,” a stunned Domiguez said. “I caught it and jumped in there and I just couldn’t wait to celebrate with my team. It was great.”
“It was slant and out. Their linebackers were blitzing and they weren’t going with the running backs. So we decided to put them on a little wheel route and dump it off. It ended up working out. It was Coach Guerriero’s call. It was a good play call,” Brungard described the winning play.
Before that big pass play to Dominguez, Brungard was enjoying a special chemistry combination with West Branch’s Nick Wilson. Brungard connected with Wilson 10 times for 99 yards and three touchdowns. They also hooked up on a two-point conversion midway through the fourth stanza to give the Ohio team a short-lived 27-20 lead.
“This was similar to my junior and senior year,” said Wilson, who had 22 touchdown catches for West Branch last fall. “This was an unbelievable experience to play with Beau. He is going to do great things at YSU. To be able to come put here and do what I did. The four of us from West Branch, we wanted this game bad, and we knew our community would show up.”
For his performance Brungard was named the Ohio offensive MVP. He hit on 15 of 16 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. But he was quick to point out that the MVP really belongs to Wilson and his linemen.
“That offensive player of the game, that’s one hundred percent Nick’s,” Brungard said. “He made me look good tonight. I have to give all the credit to my lineman blocking and Nick catching the ball. He did a great job. I certainly did not get that (MVP) on my own.”
Ohio appeared ready to make the game a blow out early as they scored on their first possession when Brungard hit Wilson on a 8-yard pass to make it 7-0 at the 4:53 mark of the first quarter. The same combination connected on a 22-yard pass again with 6:06 remaining in the first half to stake Ohio to a 13-0 lead.
Brungard and Wilson hit the trifecta at the 8:41 mark of the third quarter to increase the Ohio advantage to 19-0. But that seemed to wake the Pennsylvania team up.
Pennsylvania scored three straight touchdowns with Moon’s Ty McGowan hitting teammate Taite Beachy on a 47 and 19-yard touchdown passes to make 19-12 with 2:19 left in the third quarter. McGowan then found Mohawk’s AJ Carnuche on a 6-yard score to give them their first lead of the game at 20-19.
Following a 4-yard run by Brungard gave Ohio the lead again at 27-20 with 6:35 remaining in the game, McGowan and Beachy connected again for a 5-yard scoring pass with 3:29 left to stake Pennsylvania to a 28-27 lead.
That set up the Ohio team marching 56 yards on eight plays with the game-winning pass from Brungard to Dominguez.
On defense, the Ohio squad was led by West Branch, and Ashland-bound linebacker Steven Marra. He was disruptive on the Pennsylvania offense and was in on a lot of key tackles. For his effort, Marra was named the Ohio team defensive MVP in the game.
“It was a crazy game,” Marra said. “It was really stressful at some points, some bad timing and a blocked punt which was stressful too. But our guys ended up doing what they needed when the time counted and we ended up getting the win in the end. So it all worked out. It was a good game, it was exciting.”
Pennsylvania holds a 28-14 advantage in the series, although Ohio has won four of the last six games.
OHIO: 7-6 -6-16–35
O– Nick Wilson 8 pass from Beau Brungard (Aiden Lambert kick)
O–Nick Wilson 22 pass from Brungard (kick failed)
O– Nick Wilson 14 pass from Brungard (kick failed)
P–Taite Beachy 47 pass from Ty McGowan (pass failed)
P–Taite Beachy 19 pass from Ty McGowan (run failed)
P– AJ Carnuche 6 pass from Ty McGowan (Taite Beachy pass from Ty McGowan)
O–Beau Brungard 4 run (Nick Wilson pass from Beau Brungard)
P–Taite Beachy 5 pass from Ty McGowan (Kobe Derosa Run)
O–Dylan Dominguez 11 pass from Beau Brungard (Aaron Groner pass from Brungard)
First downs 13 16
Total Yards 403 266
Rushes-yards 27-111 22-58
Passing 292 208
Comp-Att-Int 17-23-0 19-34-1
Punts-Avg. 2-24 2-35
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
RUSHING–Ohio, Beau Brungard 8-59.
PASSING–Ohio, Beau Brungard 15-17-253-3-0.
RECEIVING–Ohio, Nick Wilson 10-99.
INTERCEPTIONS Ohio, Beau Brungard.