Pennsylvania’s Tyler Boyd takes the opening kick off back for a touchdown against Maryland during the first quarter of the Big 33 football game, Saturday, June 15, 2013, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/PennLive.com, Joe Hermitt)
by Jim Carlson
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Tyler Boyd didn’t think he had anything to prove at Saturday night’s Big 33 Football Classic high school all-star game.
But with an NFL Network audience watching, along with about 8,000 fans in the stands, Boyd showed off the all-around skills that made him a solid recruit for the University of Pittsburgh.
The 6-foot-1 receiver from Clairton returned the opening kickoff 91 yards and had a hand in five touchdowns as Pennsylvania defeated Maryland 58-27.
Boyd was named the game’s most valuable player after accumulating 310 total yards, including 144 on returns and 68 passing. Boyd also added 89 receiving yards and nine on the ground.
“I am what I am, I’m going to Pitt and I didn’t have to prove myself” to anybody, Boyd said. “I just wanted to help my team.”
Maryland recruit Shane Cockerille (Gilman HS) was 13-of-32 passing for 247 yards, throwing for two scores and rushing for one.
The Pennsylvania all-stars scored the game’s first 21 points in just 1:56 on Boyd’s opening run; a 16-yard pass to Boyd from Mack Leftwich; and a 40-yard interception return by fellow Clairton graduate and Pitt recruit Titus Howard. Pitt had six recruits in the game.
Pennsylvania’s Titus Howard makes an interception and avoids Maryland’s Shane Cockerille as he scores a touchdown during the first quarter of the Big 33 football game, Saturday, June 15, 2013, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/PennLive.com, Joe Hermitt)
“We wanted to start off fast and grab the lead so we had nothing to worry about,” Boyd said. “I came out there and did what I had to do and we won it.”
Pennsylvania’s victory snapped a four-game losing streak in the Big 33 game, which also marked Maryland’s return to the all-star game for the first time since 1992. Maryland replaced Ohio as the Big 33 opponent.
“We lost four straight and all we kept saying is that we had to bring this one home,” Boyd said.
Boyd caught the opening kickoff at the 9, paused to let a would-be tackler fly past, and took off for the score. “All I saw was straight daylight and I just took full advantage of it,” he said.
Pennsylvania, which had 21 Division I recruits on its roster as opposed to six for Maryland, was led by quarterbacks Mack Leftwich (NorthAllegheny/UTEP) and Damion Terry (Erie Prep/Michigan State). Terry rushed for 42 yards and threw for 83 while Leftwich was 9-of-12 passing for 107 yards.
Also scoring for Pennsylvania were Brian Lemelle (Bishop McDevitt/Connecticut), who was on the other end of Boyd’s 68-yard touchdown pass; and Chris Jones (Coatesville/Coastal Carolina), who caught a TD pass from each of the Pennsylvania quarterbacks.