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Breaston and Palko -- remembering the last time they were teammates

Written by Mike White on .

Tyler Palko passes to Steve Breaston. There is a chance it could happen this Sunday. On an NFL field. In a regular-season game.

It brings back some memories of the last time the two hooked up.

Breaston is in his first year as a receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs after leaving the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent. Palko has made the Chiefs as a backup quarterback, but there is a chance he could play in Sunday's opener because of a rib injury to starter Matt Cassel.

If Palko and Breaston hook up, Chiefs fans can only hope it's as good as the last time they played together nine years ago.

Palko and Breaston were members of the Pennsylvania team in the 2002 Big 33 high school all-star game. I covered the game and must say it was a memorable night in Hershey. 

Palko and Breaston were so good in high school they were named the Post-Gazette co-Players of the Year in the 2001 season. Both were quarterbacks - Palko at West Allegheny and Breaston at Woodland Hills - and both led their teams to WPIAL championships. Palko won a state Class AAA title and Breaston's Woodland Hills team lost in the state AAAA title game. the picture is of Palko hoisting the state championship trophy after beating Strath Haven. Who knows what might have happened for Woodland Hills and Breaston if its game the next night agasint Parkland wasn't played in the mud. Anyway, Palko had signed with Pitt, Breaston with Michigan. But the Big 33 was the first time Breaston played receiver in a high school game. He put on a show.

Here is a memorable quote from Palko after the game: "He's unbelievable. He's Superman. I don't know if everyone knows how great of an athlete he is. I think he proved it tonight."

Palko finished 3 of 7 for 172 yards. All three completions were to Breaston. On Pennsylvania's first play, Palko hit Breaston with a 66-yard touchdown pass. On the first play of Pennsylvania's next possession, Breaston again got open deep and Palko hit him with a 70-yard TD pass.

Breaston finished with 3 catches for 169 yards, returned four punts for 122 yards. That means he averaged 41.6 yards on those seven plays and had a 57-yard punt return called back.

Breaston was the Post-Gazette Athlete of the Year only a month earlier. (The picture is of him sitting in the Big House at Michigan the summer after he graduated from Woodland Hills.)

Palko also had this to say about Breaston after the game: "Breaston just has an extra gear," Tyler Palko said. "He's got all five gears, and then when he gets the ball he has a sixth and seventh gear."

By the way, Pennsylvania won that Big 33 game, 40-17, and Breaston was an easy choice for Pennsylvania MVP.

Now, for the first time since that game nine years later, Tyler Palko and Steve Breaston might hook up another time. No matter what happens Sunday, oh the memories of that 2002 Big 33 game.

 

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