NEW MIDDLETOWN - The wait was worth it.
The Ohio and Pennsylvania football teams waited about 90 minutes for the 33rd Annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Football Classic to finally get underway June 29 at Springfield. The game was originally scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., but kickoff was delayed until around 9 p.m. due to lightning.
In the end, the Buckeyes scored the final 19 points of the game to earn a 19-7 victory over the Keystoners.
Edison’s Shane O’Brien and the Ohio football team waits out the lightning delay June 29. (Photo by Aaron?Petchal)
"I thought the game was going to get canceled, but we just rode it out," Steubenville's William Houst said. "As soon as they said it was going to be played, we came out and played and got the win."
Houst was one of the stalwarts on defense was named one of Ohio's Linemen of the Game. Houst also scored the go-ahead score on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Despite Ohio's win, Pennsylvania still leads the overall series 23-10.
Edison running back Shane O'Brien was named Ohio's MVP. O'Brien finished the game with a game-high 87 yards. O'Brien's 43-yard run in the third quarter setup Houst's score.
"That definitely takes a little bit of a toll on your mental preparation, but once you get out there it is just football," O'Brien said about the affect of the delay on the players. "You just play like you know how to play, so it didn't affect the game too much."
Ohio head coach Andrew Connor said his players handled the delay well.
"Basically, I told the kids that if we were going to use an excuse that is what it would be," he said. "Both sides went through it. You can't control Mother Nature. These guys are all-stars. They were picked by their coaches to represent their schools, which means something like this they should be able to handle, and I thought they handle it well."