A half-dozen Penn State signees and preferred walk-ons took part in Saturday night’s Big 33 Football Classic, in which Team Maryland squeaked out a 9-6 win over Pennsylvania with a last-second field goal.
Here’s a closer look at how each player fared at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field:
WR Jahan Dotson, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
Nazareth Area (Team Pennsylvania)
How he did: Dotson’s biggest contribution came on a trick play. Late in the third quarter, Dotson fielded a swing toss from quarterback Lukas Emge, scrambled around and found fellow wideout Jose Barbon for a 46-yard gain on a designed double-pass. It woke up an otherwise lulled second-half crowd. But in a low-scoring defensive game, the big-play threat who averaged 14.7 yards per catch at Nazareth was held in check. Dotson — a four-star prospect and the No. 36 wideout in the country, per 247 Sports — had one grab for one yard. He also carried the ball two times for four yards. Dotson, who operated primarily out of the slot, was targeted deep once — but Emge’s attempt was vastly underthrown and picked off.
S Charles Katshir, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds
Cumberland Valley (Team Pennsylvania)
How he did: Yes, Katshir will be a linebacker in Happy Valley. But he did just fine Saturday at his usual starting safety spot – and turned in one of the plays of the game on special teams. Late in the first half, on a medium-range field goal attempt by Maryland, Katshir leaped over and through the line, blocked the kick and caught the deflection with his right hand. He proceeded to run about 28 yards before he was brought down. Katshir was rarely caught out of position on defense, and he didn’t seem to make a mistake. He finished with five tackles and one pass breakup, which was essentially a dropped interception.
WR Brandon Clark, 6-foot-4, 195 pounds
State College (Team Pennsylvania)
How he did: Clark had a silent night. The Little Lion was targeted once in the first half and didn’t have a chance to make anything of it. Facing a third-and-goal with three yards to go on Team Pennsylvania’s opening drive, Clark was isolated on the left side, and Emge looked Clark’s way immediately for a jump ball. Clark had position — and a few inches — on the defending corner, but Emge zipped it too high. The State College product and son of Penn State legend Bruce Clark got a second shot at scoring in the third quarter, but couldn’t hang on. Clark tried to snare another high jump ball with one hand and nearly came down with it. Instead, a Maryland corner ripped it away for an interception. Clark also punted three times.
OL Collin DeBoef, 6-foot-6, 275 pounds
State College (Team Pennsylvania)
How he did: DeBoef weighed in as the lightest lineman on either roster — but the starting center used that to his advantage. The Little Lion was quick off the ball, getting to the second level with relative ease. On the game’s opening series — a 67-yard scoring drive for Team Pennsylvania — DeBoef set the tone, blowing up a linebacker on Emge’s 8-yard quarterback draw. Emge and fellow signal-caller Marquez McCray were each sacked once, and neither instances were the lineman’s fault.
K Vlad Hilling, 5-foot-11, 200 pounds
Hollidaysburg (Team Pennsylvania)
How he did: Inconsistent? Yes. But Hilling also generated quite a bit of chatter after an impressive 56-yard field goal in the second quarter, breaking the previous Big 33 record (50 yards) set by former Nittany Lion Robbie Gould in 2001. Hilling booted it with such strength that it probably would’ve been good from another five yards out. The bad news for Team Pennsylvania was that Hilling was hit after the play — which drew a flag — and he limped off the field and did not return afterward. (Rest easy, Penn State fans, he said he feels just fine and will be ready before camp.) He also made a 20-yard field goal earlier in the game, but one kickoff traveled out of bounds around the 20-yard line and he sky’d a punt 28 yards in another instance.
OL Will Knutsson, 6-foot-4, 295 pounds
McDonogh (Team Maryland)
How he did: As the starting right guard, he mostly went up against a 270-pound Richmond signee — and he mostly dominated. He did allow a tackle-for-loss, for about minus-2 yards, on a second-down play in the second quarter. But that was his only miscue that we spotted. He consistently drove back his man on run plays and held his own on pass plays. Maryland’s offense didn’t take off Saturday, but that was no fault of Knutsson.