Maryland takes Big 33

HERSHEY – Josh Woods, the 6-foot-3 defensive back from McDonough, was a quarterback’s worst nightmare – this night for Pennsylvania’s Lenny Williams and Mark Pyles – registering seven sacks and picking off the QB pairing three times in Maryland’s 31-24 double-overtime victory in the Big 33 Football Classic on Saturday night at Hersheypark Stadium.

Woods set the tone when he jumped a short pattern outside, the first of Pyles’s three interceptions, and took it 60 yards to the house to make it 24-0 Maryland.

Pennsylvania recovered a fumble in the third quarter and scored to cut the deficit to 24-14. Pyles then bounced up the middle on a draw for 21 yards to score and make it 24-21 with less than eight minutes to go. And with one last shot to tie it, Pennsylvania’s Joe Julius drilled a 29-yard field goal with just more than a minute to go.

Pennsylvania racked up 162 yards on the ground, including 74 in the second half on 17 carries.

When the Keystone state got the ball back again with 11 seconds to go, it was Woods who stepped up once again. On second down, Pyles threw 47 yards to the goal line, looking for Delane Hart down the right side, only for Woods to come up with the game saving pick.

Maryland, however, bounced back in the second OT. Atwaine Carter found Reggie White Jr. on the first play of the drive right at the goal line for the score to make it 31-24. Maryland’s defense came up big one last time. Rasheed Gillis got underneath another Pyles pass intended for Thaddius Smith and secured it for the fourth and game-winning interception.