Bullish on Ohio
HERSHEY — Perhaps Southern Columbia’s Henry Hynoski is in the wrong line of work.
Instead of majoring in pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, he should hone his magic skills.
“Tonight is extra special, especially because I’ve never lost a game on this field,” said Hynoski, who improved to 5-0 on the field that chocolate built when Pennsylvania, with Hynoski scoring one touchdown, scored a 28-10 over Ohio in the 50th Big 33 Football Classic.
“My goal coming into the game was to keep that intact,” Hynoski said. “All the players were telling me to give them some of that magic.”
In Pennsylvania’s victory Saturday evening at Hersheypark Stadium, Pennsylvania got that magic and Ohio defensive linemen Caleb Lipsey and Andy Wersel had front row seats for Hynoski’s biggest trick of the night.
The duo got matching bruises when Pennsylvania coach Tom Loughran called three straight runs for Hynoski to end Pennsylvania’s fourth and final scoring drive of the night, spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter.
Pennsylvania used a 39-yard pass to Toney Clemons to get to the red zone.
Liberty quarterback Dan Persa, Pennsylvania Most Valuable Player and leading rusher with 65 yards on 11 carries, scrambled to the seven.
That’s when Hynoski got the call.
On each play, Hynoski, who finished with 27 yards and a bloody gash on his right arm, took the handoff from quarterback Chris Whitney and plowed ahead.
Finally on the third run, Hynoski found paydirt.
The touchdown was a bit of redemption for Hynoski, who fumbled in the first quarter.
“I really didn’t have my hands on it because it came high, but still it ate at me,” Hynoski said. “I told myself to run hard and forget about it.
“I didn’t know I’d get the call at the end. It was grind-it-out football for a while. The defense knew it was coming, but we had to make the sticks. We were picking up three to four yards, just the way we did at Southern. That’s the way we made our living.”
The first three quarters looked nothing like a typical Southern game, where No. 27 was used to getting 15-20 touches in the first half alone.
Up until the sequence that he scored on, Hynoski had been used sparingly in the pass-happy all-star game.
Hynoski showed up on kickoff coverage and return teams early in the game, but didn’t see meaningful playing time until 4 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first quarter.
By that time Ohio had built a 3-0 on a 34-yard field goal by Nick Spadafore.
On his first play, Hynoski stayed in to block for quarterback Chris Whitney. The pass, complete to Penn State bound Derek Moye, netted 16 yards.
“I thought my pass blocking was one of the best parts of my game tonight,” Hynoski said. “That’s something I’m not really used to. Knowing that we had to pass 40 percent of the time, I worked extra hard this week.”
Finally Hynoski’s number was called on the next play.
Tthe biggest of Pennsylvania’s running backs at 240 pounds, he took the dive play out of a one-back set and bulled ahead for 11 yards, taking tacklers clad in red and white with him.
The game was only one part of the week for Hynoski, who took the time to get to know fellow Pitt signees Myles Caragein, Dom DeCicco, John Fieger, Chris Jacobson, and Wayne Jones a little better.
“A lot of the guys are going to Pittsburgh, so hopefully we can carry this over,” Hynoski said. “And we’re going to have a lot more time to prepare than just a week.
“The week was phenomenal. It was one of the best weeks of my life. It’s more than just a football game.”