An 85-yard touchdown pass along with a one-yard touchdown run by future Spartan Tyler O’Connor helped fuel a second-half rally as Ohio came back from a 14-0 halftime deficit and defeat the Pennsylvania All-Stars, 24-21, in overtime in the prestigious Big 33 Classic last weekend.
O'Connor was named the game's MVP.
O’Connor, a Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic graduate, completed eight of 19 passes for 161 yards which included the 85-yard catch and run to future Ohio State cornerback Najee Murray. And for his standout efforts, O’Connor was named the Player of the Game for the Ohio All-Star team.
“(The trophy) is awesome. It’s a lot heavier than I thought it was going to be,” O’Connor said. “Never did I dream that I was going to be holding this trophy so it’s an honor.”
Despite winning the MVP award O’Connor, an Ohio team captain, was critical of own his performance.
“I thought I played alright at times,” he said. “I definitely missed a couple of passes but sometimes that happens with miscommunications with receivers and things like that. But I definitely need to improve in a lot of areas so I’m looking forward to doing that. But this week definitely helped me get better for the next level.”
The events of the week, including time the players spent off the field with their respective buddies, made an indelible impression on O’Connor.
“It all means so much. It turned out to be a lot more than I thought it was with the whole buddy system,” he said. “And everything we did this week with the host families and everything like that, everyone became so close with their families, it really means a lot and I’m definitely going to miss it. It was an awesome week.”
O’Connor will report to East Lansing on June 26.