EAST LIVERPOOL - The intensity level has been raised.
The Ohio and Pennsylvania football teams came together for the first time Wednesday at the East Liverpool practice field as the teams took part in media day in preparation for the 33rd-annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic Football Game to be held at 7:30 p.m. June 29 at Springfield High School in New Middletown.
Ohio head coach Andrew Connor said his team had an intense practice.
LEADER — Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor speaks with with the Ohio team after practice for the Penn-Ohio Classic Wednesday in East Liverpool.
-- Aaron Petchal
"Yeah, they got after it," he said. "I think they are leading themselves into what is going happen tomorrow, which is we are going to have a very physical kind of in your face type of practice. The kids want to play. I think they are excited about being on an all-star team.
"I think the biggest thing has been our chemistry. You have seen each day, and we feel like we are the Ohio football team now. We're not so worried about the school colors they wore before. They understand they are wearing the Ohio colors for this all-star game."
All-star games are meant to be fun, but the players do want to come out on top when all is said and done.
Pennsylvania leads the all-time series 23-9.
After the photos and the interviews were finished, the two teams took to the field for a shortened practice.
"They adapted," Connor said. "Like I said, we ran hard. I thought we practiced hard. I thought our 1-on-1s with our offensive and defensive linemen were intense. They challenged each other, but it was good natured though. It was good natured, and they really went after each other."
Ohio's practice was a lot more intense than Pennsylvania's. The Buckeyes' practice consisted of stretching and conditioning, some individual drills as well as some plays from scrimmage.
"Like I said, I think they were excited, and I think it is a fun thing to go against guys you watched over your time period of playing for their schools," Connor said. "Now, they are a part of that."
Having the players from Pennsylvania there seemed to bring out the best in the Ohio players.
"I'm happy with our kids, because I thought they were intense with them being here, and I thought maybe it was the opposite for them," Connor said. "Maybe the bus ride was a little tough for them because they had to deal with traveling and all of that."
Wednesday was the final day the teams practice without wearing full pads as today's practice will be the first one in full pads.
"It is an honor," Edison's Shane O'Brien said about playing in the game.
"It is something you have been working toward since you were a kid. You see all-star games when you are a kid. You dream about playing in it. It is an honor."