NEW MIDDLETOWN - Beware of the Wildcat.
Edison graduate ended his high school football playing days with a memorable performance at the 33rd Annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Football Classic Game June 29 at Springfield High School.
O'Brien amassed a game-high 87 yards on the ground leading Ohio to a 19-7 victory over Pennsylvania.
Ohio Game Coordinator Larry Baughman (right) presents Edison’s Shane O’Brien with the Ohio MVP Award following the Penn-Ohio Game June 29 at?Springfield. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
"It's huge," O'Brien said about the win. "That's all we have been hearing about lately is how PA has won the last how many games, and Ohio is not going to win and we are the underdogs, so to come out here and get the win I think that is a huge proof of what kind of team we have and what kind of talent we had on the team this year."
For his fine performance in the game, O'Brien was named Ohio's MVP.
"That is something that I can't believe it even happened. It's just you got here among all of this talent and all of these players and to come out with an MVP that is something special. That is something you remember for the rest of your life."
Practice for the game got underway for the Buckeyes June 18 at East Liverpool's practice field. It took a couple of days for the players and coaches to get to know one another.
"It did a little bit," O'Brien said. "It took a couple of days, I'll admit the first day you walk in and you don't really know anybody. You recognize some faces, maybe some names here and there, but then I think two or three days later on Media Day everyone was joking around and having a good time.
"We really started to get to know each other. I think that was huge. It was kind of a way for us to get together and come together as a team, and I think that played a big role tonight."
The game was delayed about 90 minutes due to lightning, but once the game started the two teams got down to the business of playing football.
"Oh yeah, it's just football," O'Brien said. "It's just a game. We have all been playing it. Everyone here, they wouldn't be here if unless they are good football players, so once we got out here and started playing, everything just started clicking."
O'Brien's 43-yard run in the third quarter helped setup the go-ahead score.
"Congratulations to my team," O'Brien said. "They get all of the credit. I owe everything to them."
O'Brien has decided to continue his academic and athletic careers at Mount Union. O'Brien is going to spend the rest of his summer getting ready to go off to Alliance.
"I'm going to be getting ready for college," O'Brien said. "I'm going to enjoy the games. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my summer, the last month or so before I go off to Mount."
O'Brien will be heading to Mount Union on Aug. 11.
O'Brien said he is getting a little nervous about heading off to college.
"Yeah, a little bit, a little bit," he said. "I'm counting down the days, but I am excited though. It is something I have been working for for a really long time. It is definitely something exciting."
For O'Brien, things could not have turned out better during the whole Penn-Ohio experience.
"It's going to be one of the greatest of my life," O'Brien said about how he is going to look back on the experience. "It's one hell of an experience. It's one heck of a way to finish up my high school career. I couldn't ask for a greater group of guys to celebrate with.