Warriors Contribute to New York's Wild Big 30 Comeback Tie (Video)
OTH: New York's fourth-quarter rally forces tie
BRADFORD, Pa. — As New York’s players planned their post-game celebration, Pennsylvania’s walked off Parkway Field with mixed feelings.
Neither state lost Saturday night’s 46th annual Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic. But New York sure felt more like the winner thanks to a 21-point fourth-quarter rally that stunned the Keystone State.
What resulted was the third tie in Charities Classic history, 27-27, and first draw since 1996.
“Obviously you want to come out with the true victory,” said New York coach Jehuu Caulcrick of Southwestern, “but I’m just proud of these guys.”
New York snapped a three-year Pennsy win streak and maintained its all-time series lead, 22-21-3.
“We all went in the locker room (at halftime) and we said, ‘There’s no regrets here,’” said Pioneer quarterback Nick Rinker, who engineered an unconventional comeback. “This is our last time we’ll ever get to play together, and we left it all on the field.”
Indeed, New York had three possessions with a chance to take the lead in the final four minutes. The last came after Tyler Hedlund (Salamanca) returned an interception 20 yards to the Pennsy 30. On the game’s final play, Allegany-Limestone’s Conner Golley lined up for a 47-yard field goal, but the kick fell short.
That didn’t diminish New York’s efforts. Pennsylvania led 27-6 after three quarters. New York cut the lead from three possessions to one in a span of less than three minutes.
Rinker made it possible, going 6-of-17 passing for 181 yards and three touchdowns. His three TDs tied a game record previously shared by four players.
The 6-foot-3 signal-caller benefitted from extended time, playing the final seven series after Salamanca’s Zariah Armstrong suffered an injury when Pennsylvania’s Chris Connelly (Otto-Eldred) tackled him at the 3-yard line to save a touchdown on a fourth-down play late in the third quarter.
“He was able to play a bunch of series in a row, he got some rhythm, and he caught fire,” said Pennsylvania coach Jeff Puglio of Bradford. “He really was the difference maker. Defensively, we kind of let him out. He scrambled and we kind of got out of position a few times, our ends weren’t in contain enough to kind of give him the scrambles that he