To get an idea of how lopsided Pennsylvania's victory was over Maryland in their final Big 33 Football Classic matchup Saturday night, consider the awards given during the post-game ceremony at Hersheypark Stadium.
Each team had one Most Valuable Player. Pennsylvania's Anthony Hardy earned his recognition with the game's most electrifying performance. His 91-yard touchdown reception on the first play from scrimmage started a long night for Maryland. Six minutes later, Hardy's 74-yard punt return gave Pennsylvania a 21-0 lead and essentially finished Maryland. From there, Pennsylvania cruised to a 38-0 rout.
DeMatha High School's Robert St. Pierre earned the Maryland MVP award for a reason that illustrated Maryland's futility all too clearly: his punting. St. Pierre had plenty of practice. He punted 11 times for a 37.6-yard average.
Little else worked for Maryland. Pennsylvania ran 45 plays to Maryland's 24 and gained more first downs (14-3) and net yards (399-40). Five Pennsylvania players -- Hardy, quarterbacks Scott Weaver (five completions, 201 yards, two TDs) and Brandon Bailey (five for 74), and running backs Darrell Harding (11 carries, 44 yards) and Gerald Thompson (eight for 46) -- each did better individually than the entire Maryland team.
Wilde Lake's Brent Guyton, who played inside linebacker and is headed to UCLA, was especially impressed with Pennsylvania's speed.
"I didn't think their linemen were going to be that fast off the ball," said Guyton, who made five tackles and saved a Pennsylvania touchdown in the second quarter. "And their backs knew where to go. Even when the holes closed up, they knew where to go."
Linebacker Jack Sykes (Crossland) led Maryland with eight tackles. Richard Snowden (Frederick) led Maryland rushers with 20 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Phil White (Wilde Lake) completed three of 13 passes for 49 yards and one interception.
White brought Maryland close to its only scoring opportunity late in the first half. With nine seconds left before halftime. he completed a 29-yard pass to Jermaine Lewis (Eleanor Roosevelt) to move the ball to the Pennsylvania 23 for Maryland's initial first down. Then, after getting sacked for a 7-yard loss, White lofted a pass that went off Lewis' fingertips in the end zone as time expired.
Only a handful of Maryland players are headed to college powerhouses -- and seven Maryland players remain undecided about their college plans -- but every Pennsylvania player has signed. And the bulk of its roster includes players bound for top-25 programs.