Big 33 Football Classic
Davidson's Heitzman helps lead Ohio to win
Ohio's domination in the Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey, Pa., on June 18 had a local flavor.
Ohio rolled to a 50-14 win over the Pennsylvania all-stars, amassing 432 yards in total offense.
The 54th game of the series featured five players from central Ohio.
Led by defensive end Keith Heitzman of Hilliard Davidson, the Ohio defense allowed 243 yards, including minus-8 yards rushing.
Heitzman, who also played fullback and on special teams, capped the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes, 47 seconds remaining.
"It was a ton of fun," Heitzman said. "Our defense came out strong and was able to get pressure on them right away. We forced them to make some mistakes."
Heitzman helped set the tone early as his pressure on Pennsylvania quarterback Matt Johnson led to Gabe Gilbert's interception on the game's first possession.
Heitzman sacked Johnson in the second quarter, leading to a Pennsylvania punt from its end zone.
"Playing against the best I'm hoping will prepare me a little bit more for what's to come at (the University of) Michigan," Heitzman said.
Heitzman was joined by Davidson teammate J.D. Detmer, who handled the kicking and punting duties.
Detmer, who will play at the University of Toledo, converted six extra points and punted once for 38 yards. He missed on field-goal attempts of 46 and 28 yards in the first quarter.
Hartley's Noah Key, who rushed for 2,885 yards and 42 touchdowns on 338 carries last fall to share the Division IV state Offensive Player of the Year award with Kenton quarterback Maty Mauk, played in the secondary for Ohio.
"This was a real honor," said Key, who will join Detmer at Toledo. "You get to see all the guys you see in the paper every week with your name. You get a chance to meet these guys, and I will be playing against a lot of these guys in college. There (were) actually seven of us on the team from Toledo, so we're building that early bond."
Key led Hartley to the Division IV state title last season with a 34-13 win over Chagrin Falls in the championship game.
Hawks coach Brad Burchfield said playing in the Big 33 game was a tremendous opportunity for Key and the Hartley program.
"I know obviously the history of the Big 33 and how prestigious it is to have players selected to play in that game," Burchfield said.
It was sort of a homecoming for Worthington Kilbourne's Matt Skura, who grew up in Fox Chapel, Pa., and began attending Kilbourne as a sophomore.
"Playing against the best competition in Pennsylvania and even the best competition in the nation, it was a great way for me to end my high school career and start my college one as well," Skura said.
Skura, who will play at Duke University, saw time at center, guard and tackle in the Big 33 game.
"He's been a tremendous leader, setting the example for the kids on the way things should be done," Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. "He's never taken a day off. He's done a great job representing our program."
Westerville Central graduate Nick Vannett, who will play at Ohio State, saw time at tight end and wide receiver in the Big 33 game.
"I'm proud of Nick, not only because of his accomplishments on the field, but also I've had people tell me what a class act, what a gentleman he is, and to me that's just as important if not more important than his football abilities," Central coach John Magistro said.
University of Cincinnati recruit Akise Teague had three touchdowns and 168 total yards, and was named the Ohio team's MVP. Teague was voted Ohio's Mr. Football last fall, leading Youngstown Ursuline to its third consecutive Division V state championship with a 51-21 win over Coldwater.
The game also featured the Big 33's longest interception return for a touchdown. Ohio State recruit Doran Grant (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary) intercepted a Jalen Fitzpatrick pass and returned it 101 yards for a 28-7 lead in the second quarter.