Big 33 Football Classic: Eight local players will suit up for Pa.

Pottsgrove running back Rahsul Faison ran for 42 touchdowns in 2017.

Pottsgrove running back Rahsul Faison and St. Joseph’s Prep quarterback Marquez McCray highlight a group of local football players who will represent Pennsylvania in the 61st annual Big 33 Football Classic.

For the sixth straight year, the top seniors from the Keystone State will clash with an all-star squad from Maryland at 7 p.m. Saturday at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania leads the series with four wins in five games.

The Pennsylvania team also includes North Penn wide receiver Justis Henley, St. Joseph’s Prep defensive end Rayshad Wallace, Downingtown East defensive back Brassir Stocker, Archbishop Wood defensive end Bill Shaeffer, Coatesville defensive back Avery Young and Episcopal Academy offensive lineman Adam Klein.

The game, which is organized by the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association, is about more than football. While in Harrisburg, all Big 33 players are paired with host families. Each host family provides sleeping quarters, meals, and transportation for two players.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania  players and coaches visited veterans at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. On Wednesday, they were paired with special-needs youths to spend time together on and off the field during the week as part of the Big 33’s Buddy Program.

Camera icon KEVIN COOK / For the Inquirer
Pottsgrove’s Rahsul Faison.

Faison put together a historic 2017 season while leading Pottsgrove to a second consecutive District 1 Class 4A title and a trip to the PIAA playoffs. The Stony Brook recruit shattered two Pioneer Athletic Conference single-season records with 2,919 yards and 42 touchdowns.

McCray guided St. Joseph’s Prep to the PIAA Class 6A title game against Pine-Richland. The Sacred Heart University recruit connected on 12 of 35 passes for 121 yards, including a 16-yard TD strike to Brandon Sanders in the late going of a 41-21 loss. For the season, McCray threw for 1,532 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Camera icon LOU RABITO / Staff
St. Joseph’s Prep quarterback Marquez McCray

Henley did just about everything for a North Penn team that lost to Garnet Valley in the District 1 Class 6A playoffs. In addition to being a wide receiver, defensive back, and kick returner, Henley was sometimes used at quarterback in a Wildcat formation. He finished his senior year with 51 catches for 917 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Stocker was a multipurpose threat for Downingtown East. This past season, Stocker carried the ball 140 times for 1,117 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Cougars fell to Coatesville in the District 1 Class 6A playoffs.

Coatesville went on to beat Garnet Valley, 35-28, in the District 1 championship game, thanks to Young’s 72-yard interception return for a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining. The Red Raiders eventually lost to St. Joseph’s Prep in the state semifinals.

Camera icon CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Avery Young of Coatesville

Manheim Township’s Mark Evans is the head coach of the Pennsylvania squad, which features a 38-man roster. Lower Merion’s Evan Breisblatt is one of the assistant coaches.

Last season, North Penn graduate Reece Udinski, now at Virginia Military Institute, threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns as Pennsylvania topped Maryland, 44-33.

A seven-on-seven shootout will take place Saturday morning as four of Maryland’s top teams will play against four of Pennsylvania’s top teams. For more information visit big33.org.

Pennsylvania roster

Position Ht. Wt. Player High School College

1 RB 6’1 195 Rahsul Faison Pottsgrove Stony Brook University
3 WR 6’1 165 Jahan Dotson Nazareth Area Penn State University
4 LB 6’2 208 Layton Jordan McKeesport Temple University
5 RB 5’9 180 Carlinos Acie McKeesport United States Naval Academy
6 QB 6’1 205 Lukas Emge Manheim Township Harvard University
7 A 5’11 170 Justis Henley North Penn University of Delaware
8 DB 6’1 180 James Lawson Bishop McDevitt Villanova University
9 DB 5’10 160 Ronald Kent Harrisburg Western Carolina
11 WR 6’2 190 Naszhir Taylor Woodland Hills California University of PA
12 DB 5’11 200 Cooper Lutz Berks Catholic Syracuse University
13 WR 6’1 195 Shaquon Anderson-Butts Harrisburg Iowa Western Community College
14 QB 6’3 220 Marquez McCray St. Joseph’s Prep Sacred Heart University
15 LB 6’1 225 Rovny Dasilva West Catholic Preparatory Undecided
16 WR 6’4 195 Brandon Clark State College Penn State University
17 DB 5’11 185 Brassir Stocker Downington East Undecided
18 LB 6’1 200 Darrell Mason Penn Hills Robert Morris University
19 DB 5’11 185 Khalil Weathers Pittsburgh Central Catholic University of Pennsylvania
19 DB 6’1 195 Xavier Roman Manheim Township Shippensburg University
20 DE 6’1 230 Rayshad Wallace St. Joseph’s Prep Undecided
21 WR 6’3 220 Charles Katshir Cumberland Valley Penn State University
22 LB 6’2 210 Noah Plack-Tallerico South Fayette University of Delaware
23 DE 6’4 225 Bill Shaeffer Archbishop Wood Lafayette College
24 WR 5’11 177 Jose Barbon Conestoga Valley Temple University
25 DB 6’1 195 Avery Young Coatesville Rutgers University
26 LB 6’1 215 Liam Slattery Pittsburgh Central Catholic Tufts University
26 LB 6’2 210 Christian Arrington Cumberland Valley University of Rhode Island
33 K 5’11 200 Vlad Hilling Hollidaysburg Penn State University
41 TE 6’4 235 Grant Smith Central Dauphin Indiana Universtiy of PA
51 OL 6’2 290 Kobe Thomas Parkland Univeristy at Albany
53 DE 6’1 235 Will Mayr Penn-Trafford Indiana Universtiy of PA
55 DT 6’4 270 Ray Eldridge South Fayette University of Richmond
56 LB 5’11 230 Jahan Worth Parkland Duquesne University
58 OL 6’3 290 Eric Neill Central Valley Duquesne University
63 OL 6’6 275 Collin DeBoef State College Penn State University
66 OL 6’6 290 Casey McCollum Penn Manor Lafayette College
68 OL 6’6 275 Derek Devine North Allegheny University of Virginia
73 OL 6’3 322 Jeremiah Gutierrez Stroudsburg Slippery Rock University
74 OL 6’5 280 Adam Klein The Episcopal Academy Temple University
96 DT 6’1 280 Ayyub Dail Easton Indiana Universtiy of PA
99 DT 6’1 270 David Green Pittsburgh Central Catholic Univeristy of Pittsburgh

Head Coach Mark Evans Manheim Twp.
Assistant Coach Evan Breisblatt Lower Merion
Assistant Coach Joe Cowart New Castle
Assistant Coach Mike Evans Canon McMillan
Assistant Coach Harold Fairclough Emmaus
Assistant Coach Matt Lintal State College
Assistant Coach Jason Vosheski Academy Park
Assistant Coach Mike Whitehead Cumberland Valley