Why support rare now?


Nearly 30 million Americans are living with a rare disease and  COVID-19 continues to present a myriad of challenges that is not only impacting the patients but their families and caregivers as well.

At the top of the list is reduced access to vital medical care which, in turn, has exacerbated already existing challenges. Among those already existing challenges include an accurate diagnosis of a complex disease, limited treatment protocol options, financial struggles, absence of hope and mental fatigue for patients, families and caregivers. 

“I don’t think you need to have a rare disease to have had all of this impact you mentally,” said Dr. Justin Hopkin, the father of a son with a rare disease and a rare disease advocate. “Managing the mental aspect of all this has been difficult for everybody. Finances, jobs, social issues … all those things have weighed heavily on most of us, but we know it’s been especially hard on those living with a rare disease.”

The isolation some Americans are feeling as we navigate the obstacle course of this pandemic is how some rare disease patients feel everyday. 

Since March, medical research on diseases other than COVID-19 has taken a huge hit. There have been countless research studies abandoned, suspended or postponed. 

Much is still unanswered about the ultimate impact the pandemic will have on clinical trials, too. That’s because it is unclear how many of these studies will eventually restart and how long it will be before they begin again.

Clinical trials play a critical role physically and mentally for rare disease patients. They show researchers and doctors what does and doesn’t work, and are a critical vehicle for rare disease patients to receive or obtain life altering therapy.

A clinical trial being delayed, interrupted or canceled can be a tipping point for a rare disease patient . They don’t have the luxury in most cases of multiple clinical trials. And the delay, interruption or cancelation of that trial jeopardizes any hope they might have had and could even be life threatening.

All this is going to lead to a healthcare system already pushed to its extreme limits by this pandemic becoming backed up and slowed even more. And it will directly and adversely impact a Rare Disease Community that faces an uphill climb under optimal conditions.

“Like everyone else, what we are hearing from the patients in our community has been tough,” said Kathi Luis, a rare disease advocate. “There was a lot of hopelessness, without their rehab, medication, treatments, clinical trials delayed or canceled … they didn’t have any hope. They are really defeated.”

In April, the National Organization For Rare Diseases (NORD) reached out to patients to gauge the best way to guide support and help for the Rare Disease Community.

Nearly 800 people responded to the survey from NORD’s research team and the results were made public last month.

95 percent of the respondents said they have been impacted at a cost to both their immediate and long-term health and well-being. Nearly three-quarters have had a medical appointment canceled and, of those, 65 percent were offered an alternative appointment via phone or video. 69 percent of the respondents have concerns about medication and medical supply shortages.

“Treating rare and medically complex cases like mine takes multimodal approaches. Remove one piece of the puzzle and the care patients receive results in sub-optimal outcomes. COVID-19 further exposed a glaring problem in the healthcare system by asking us what defines essential medical treatments,” said Marni Cartelli, a rare disease patient. “What if a treatment on its face doesn’t keep someone alive but is supplemental to one that does? Also, we must ask ourselves, is keeping someone alive the only essential medical service? What about keeping someone’s ability to feed themselves? These are all questions I ask myself every single day but society only had to ask itself in this pandemic.”

The time for action to support the Rare Disease Community is now. As we all adjust to what is the most recent new normal, the mental fatigue associated with the unknown for rare disease patients continues.

Uplifting Athletes is uniquely positioned to inspire hope in the Rare Disease Community. The 7,000 Mile Challenge is a way for YOU to get active and rally support for the rare diseases this summer.

Inaugural 7,000 Mile Challenge to support the Rare Disease Community set for July 17-26


Uplifting Athletes is proud to announce the inaugural 7,000 Mile Challenge – a 10-day event starting July 17th that will bring focus and attention to the more than 7,000 known rare diseases.

People affected by a rare disease are fighting against a finite clock that didn’t stop because of COVID-19. We’re letting the Rare Disease Community know that we won’t stop fighting for them!

“We are rallying our extensive network behind one initiative this summer so that we can continue to support our friends and partners in the Rare Disease Community,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long said. “Our team has worked hard to find a way to afford everyone the opportunity to take action and help the Rare Disease Community.”

It does not matter whether you are a casual walker, an avid runner, swimmer or roll on wheels of any kind, you can help make a difference for the Rare Disease Community. To participate in the 7,000-Mile challenge join an existing team, create a new team for you and others, or participate as an individual.  

Track and add your mileage to the collective Uplifting Athletes total using any single day or combination of days throughout the 10-day challenge. You can collect pledges for every mile you contribute to the challenge to support the mission of Uplifting Athletes. 

Join Uplifting Athletes wherever you are July 17th to 26th and rally your support for the Rare Disease Community through activity, donation or both!

To pre-register and start helping Uplifting Athletes Tackle Rare Diseases, visit upliftingathletes.org. Now is a time for action so no one in the Rare Disease Community lives without hope.

Proceeds from the 7,000 Mile Challenge support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Leaders and Uplifting Experiences.

Any questions about the 7,000 Mile Challenge, please send an email to info@uplitingathletes.org.

Uplifting Athletes cancels all annual Lift For Life events for 2020


COVID-19 has led to many adjustments of the college athletic schedule. The football student-athletes and programs Uplifting Athletes work with face a condensed time frame to prepare for the upcoming season under heightened safety precautions.

In order to avoid any additional pressure, Uplifting Athletes made the decision to cancel all our annual Lift For Life events this summer.

On behalf of the Rare Disease Community Uplifting Athletes serves, thank you to everyone who has supported Lift For Life in the past. We look forward to a full Lift For Life schedule in 2021.

Lift For Life is the signature event for universities across the country that are part of the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapters.

It is more important than ever for Uplifting Athletes to be there for our friends and family affected by Rare Diseases. Please stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday June 22 on how you can help rally support for the Rare Disease Community this summer.

Meet Uplifting Athletes 2019 Rare Disease Champion Team member George Hatalowich from Davidson College


Starting this season, the focus of the Rare Disease Champion Award shifted to a team concept in order to provide a platform to recognize all the qualified leaders that have made a significant and lasting impact on the Rare Disease Community. The Rare Disease Champion Team ensures all the inspiring rare disease stories of qualified leaders in college football are shared and celebrated. Uplifting Athletes will honor the 2019 Rare Disease Champion Team at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala in Atlantic City and at the Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft in Philadelphia March 6 and 7, respectively.

George Hatalowich

University: Davidson College

Vitals: 5-11, 201-pound, senior, linebacker

Quick Hits: George’s passion for and commitment to the rare disease cause led him to start an Uplifting Athletes Chapter at Davidson College as a junior in 2018. He worked tirelessly to get the chapter started and engage his teammates in supporting the cause. Under George’s leadership, the Davidson Chapter held Lift For Life events and participated in Touchdown Pledge Drive in 2018 and 2019 and hosted the first Uplifting Experience at Davidson. These efforts led to the fourth highest fundraising total for a new chapter in Uplifting Athletes history and provided immeasurable inspiration for the Rare Disease Community.

INSIDE THE STORY

Personal relationships are a source of strength and have always inspired George.

George is one of those people with a personality whose passion and energy can light up a room. And nothing moves the native of Pennsylvania more than serving and helping others.

The credit for his commitment to others goes to his parents according to George. Even the best teachers know, though, having a prize pupil makes it a lot easier.

From as long back as he can remember, being a part of something bigger than yourself and making a commitment to help others was a cornerstone of growing up in the Hatalowich household.

His first taste of service in high school – the Special Olympics Buddy Program – was an eye opening experience for George. Naturally, he was pumped to have the opportunity to mentor and help somebody else. What he soon discovered, though, was that the relationship he struck up with his buddy was just as meaningful to him.

“It was something, looking back now, I never really expected. I had fully embraced the idea of service and being a part of something bigger and more important than myself,” George said. “What I discovered was the person or organization I was supposed to be serving ended up serving me. It was a two-way street and those relationships had a profound impact on me.”

As opportunities presented themselves during his high school years, George couldn’t help himself. He had the service to others bug and became a mentor, tutor and counselor for a variety of organizations.

The opportunity to play football in college was instrumental in shaping George’s decision where he would continue his career as a student-athlete. He saw opportunity seven hours from home in North Carolina.

“It was scary going away from home seven hours, not even having any mutual connections of any kind,” George said. “When I got there I wanted to stay true to who I was and what was important to me in high school. I wanted to keep the values I learned in high school.”

College campuses offer a wealth of opportunities to help and serve others. But George was looking to leave his own mark at Davidson.

Already armed with the knowledge of how a rare disease can impact a family through his good friendship with a high school teammate whose uncle battled ALS and whose father also was his high school head coach, George saw an opportunity through the Davidson football program and Uplifting Athletes.

After his sophomore season, George and Wildcats teammate Kevin Stipe joined forces to launch an Uplifting Athletes Chapter at Davidson College.

The rare disease cause is extremely important to George and seeing the opportunity to include the entire team in supporting their cause drove the duo to leave no stone unturned when it came to making this happen.

“The impact rare diseases have on families was something I experienced first-hand. It impacted me. I understood the work and attention this underserved community needs,” George said. “Not just the patient is impacted. The whole family is impacted and that stuck with me and gave me the motivation to get Davidson on board as a chapter.”

THE RARE JOURNEY

A close relationship with the Klock family growing up gave George unique insight into what a rare disease, in this case ALS, can do to a family.

He took that experience with him to college and in late 2017 after his sophomore season the linebacker saw an opportunity to have an impact on the entire Rare Disease Community through starting an Uplifting Athletes Chapter.

Starting anything from the ground up always has its challenges, but George and his Davidson Chapter co-founder Kevin Stipe believed the Wildcats’ program was more than ready to make an impact.

So in 2018, after attending their first Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference in January of that year, Kevin and George set off on their adventure and launched the Davidson Chapter.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was work, but we had so much support and help. Trey Klock was a mentor to me growing up and I saw what his family went through with ALS and how it impacted them. And I knew he was working with Uplifting Athletes at Georgia Tech and then Northwestern. So he was an outstanding resource,” George said. “I have come to know the staff at Uplifting Athletes and their passion. The relationships I’ve built with them are long-term relationships and I’m grateful for that. I’m the one who is blessed to have had this opportunity.”

Thanks to the leadership of George and Kevin, the Davidson Chapter held Lift For Life events and participated in Touchdown Pledge Drive each of the last two years and hosted the first Uplifting Experience at Davidson. These efforts led to the fourth highest fundraising total for a new chapter in Uplifting Athletes history.

A leader for the Wildcats both on and off the field, George received one of the highest honors in college football for work off the field late in his senior season.  Chosen from a nomination pool that exceeded more than 135 players, George was one of 22 individuals honored as part of the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1991 to recognize a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to service and enriching the lives of others. 

“Being chosen for that meant a lot. At the same time it represented a lot more than me. It represented my teammates, coaches and family,” George said. “To make real change in anything you do, you also need a strong team around you. Kevin and I have been talking about and working on getting this chapter started for three years. I could not have done it without him. Being chosen represented a lot more than just me.”

WHAT THEY SAID

“The biggest thing about Davidson College and Davidson football it attracts a certain type of person. A lot of them are passionate and are really determined individuals. When we started the chapter we were able to lay out why this was important and how we are going to do it. We told them we believe our team can make an impact. All we had to do was start a fire and the guys really lit it up.” – George Hatalowich

39 Uplifting Athletes Chapter Leaders put through paces in Atlanta during 11th annual Leadership Development Conference


The cornerstone of the Uplifting Leaders program is our network of Chapters on campuses across the country led by college football student-athletes.

This past weekend, 39 leaders from 20 schools gathered in Atlanta for a high impact and fast paced weekend of learning and development during our 11th annual Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference.

The 2020 conference provided an opportunity for our Chapter leadership to develop relationships that stretch beyond the football field, to absorb enhanced mission and vision insight based on Uplifting Athletes’ four programs – Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders – and to plot a chapter strategy for 2020.

“The difference for me this year was it’s a new group of guys mostly, but you establish similar quality of relationships,” said Clemson Chapter leader and Tigers’ long snapper Jack Maddox, who was attending his second conference. “I have a year of experience now, so I know more about what’s going on. I’m not overwhelmed as much and I know what we can and can’t do at our chapter. It’s such a valuable weekend.”

Following a meet-and-greet dinner Friday night, the conference kicked off Saturday with a full day of programming. Four breakout sessions led by Uplifting Athletes staff were followed by an “entering the real world” question-and-answer session with former college athletes.

The highlight of Saturday was the Uplifting Experience at the College Football Hall of Fame where 24 rare disease patients, caregivers and families were connected with the Chapter leaders to spend a couple hours experiencing the Hall of Fame together.

“I loved that the athletes had an opportunity to meet individuals with rare diseases outside of a hospital setting,” said Carol Unger, whose 32-year-old son Matthew is diagnosed with the ultra rare disease WAGR Syndrome. “I feel it is important to note that our children grow up, although some may still be at the maturity level of a 7 or 8 year old, and cherish those opportunities to meet with folks from the outside world.”

The first day of the conference closed out with a work session on three of Uplifting Athletes’ main events – Lift For Life, Reps For Rare Diseases and Touchdown Pledge Drive.

“Since Penn State is such an established chapter, my journey here is to learn what else can we do next to help support the Rare Disease Community,” said Penn State Chapter leader and long snapper Chris Stoll, who is in line to be the next PSU Chapter President taking over for quarterback Sean Clifford.

“I’m very excited to be more involved at another level. Sean did a great job and put a lot into it. But he’s our starting quarterback now and that’s a big job. I’m pumped to be here again and to meet so many guys who have passion for the rare disease cause and for using their platform to make a difference. And I’m very excited to get more involved at the next level.”

Sunday started with Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a former Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft grant recipient, founder of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network and rare disease research pioneer, sharing his story via a live video conference.

The conference wrapped up with some additional highlights of Uplifting Athletes’ programming that is available to support the rare disease cause and a work session to kick off 2020 at the chapter level.

A special thank you to all our sponsors and supporters who made this conference possible, Deloitte, Sanofi Genzyme, Jean Campbell and JFC Consulting and the College Football Hall of Fame. With your help, these young men are making a difference in the Rare Disease Community.

Meet the 2019 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team


Uplifting Athletes is pleased to announce the 2019 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team.

For 12 years, Uplifting Athletes has recognized a Rare Disease Champion. Starting in 2019, the focus of the Rare Disease Champion Award shifts from highlighting an individual leader in college football to a team concept that provides an opportunity to recognize leaders in college football that have made a positive and lasting impact on the Rare Disease Community. 

The five members of the 2019 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion team are: Kent State wide receiver Antwan Dixon, Davidson linebacker George Hatalowich, Syracuse offensive lineman Sam Heckel, Penn student assistant Anthony Lotti and Kentucky linebacker Josh Paschal.

Uplifting Athletes couldn’t be more proud to share these inspiring rare disease stories of leaders in college football.

“We feel strongly that our obligation to the Rare Disease Community is to share the powerful and compelling stories of people inside college football who have lived the rare disease journey, as patients and advocates,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long said. “I believe this will be the start of a tradition recognizing those in college football who are inspiring, serving and supporting those who need it the most.”

The Rare Disease Champion Team powered by Sanofi Genzyme is an Uplifting Athletes awareness campaign that is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The Rare Disease Champion Team will be celebrated at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. on March 6, 2020 and at Uplifting Athletes’ Young Investigator Draft at Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia March 7, 2020.

Nominees for the award were solicited from any NCAA FBS, FCS, Division II or Division III institution or college football program nationwide.

Past Rare Disease Champion winners consist of seven FBS players including USC long snapper Jake Olson (2016), UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin (2018) and Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates (2015), one FCS player, a Division III quarterback, an FBS assistant coach and an administrator from AFCA. 

Former Austin Peay State University Offensive Coordinator and current University of Kansas Assistant Coach Joshua Eargle was honored as the winner of the Rare Disease Champion Award last year.

The Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

Chapter Update: Northwestern freshman has breakout performance and 12 teams post Week 12 victories


Behind a breakout performance from true freshman running back Evan Hull, Northwestern won its second game of the season by rolling up 45 points against UMass.

Hull, making his first start of the season, rushed for 220 yards and tied the single-game program record with four touchdowns on the ground. He became the first Wildcat running back to rush for four touchdowns and more than 200 yards in a game since 2005. Hull scored on touchdown runs of 46, 38, 36 and 6 yards.

Northwestern also used a strong effort from its special teams to add points to the scoreboard. Joe Gaziano blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt and Chris Bergin grabbed the loose ball and scooted 85-yards for a scoop-and-score. The Wildcats also recovered a squib kick and turned it into a field goal.

Penn State: Junior quarterback Sean Clifford, the Penn State Chapter President, went over 3,000 total yards for the season and was responsible for three touchdowns as the Nittany Lions bounced back from their first loss of the season. Clifford, who posted 234 total yards of offense, two rushing scores and a passing touchdown against the Hoosiers, finished off a statement drive for Penn State to seal the victory. His 1-yard plunge on fourth down late in the fourth quarter gave the Nittany Lions a 10-point lead and capped an 18-play, 75-yard march that consumed 9:01 of the clock. 

Saint Francis: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Brown connected with classmate E.J. Jenkins for three touchdowns to help the Red Flash post their most convincing win of the season. Joel Denley added 157 all-purpose yards and a career-high three rushing touchdowns as part of the 42-point outburst. Saint Francis Chapter President Nick Rinella, one of six seniors honored prior to the game, posted eight tackles and returned the opening kickoff 48 yards. 

In his first year as the starter, Brown’s three touchdown passes against Wagner gives him 23 on the season to take over as the program’s all-time leader in TD passes for a season and earned him the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Penn: The Quakers went on the road to Harvard and set a program milestone in close-to-the-vest Ivy League victories. For the first time in the Ancient Eight era of college football, Penn has won three consecutive games at Harvard Stadium. It was also the third straight win overall for the Quakers, all decided by four points or fewer. Six of Penn’s nine games this season have been decided by five or fewer points. The Quakers are 4-2 in those tight-squeeze affairs. Nick Robinson threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Rory Starkey midway through the fourth quarter to give the Quakers the lead for good. And the Penn defense locked it down with a late fourth-quarter stop on fourth down at its own 30-yard-line.

Clemson: Behind a career-high four touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence and 121 yards from RB Travis Etienne, the Tigers won their sixth consecutive game by 30 or more points – the longest streak in ACC history. Etienne’s 100-plus yard game was his sixth in a row and established a school record for consecutive 100-plus yard games. Wake Forest walked into Memorial Stadium bringing seven wins to the table behind a solid offense. The Tigers’ defense held the Demon Deacons to 105 total yards and five first downs.

Davidson: The Wildcats finished off the road portion of their schedule with a stellar 4-1 mark thanks to 28 unanswered second-half points to pull away from Stetson. Davidson moved to 5-2 in the Pioneer Football League, posting the most league wins by the program since 2006. Junior RB Wesley Dugger continued his assault on the record books with two more touchdowns to become the PFL’s all-time leading scorer and the Davidson single-season leader in rushing touchdowns with 20. Davidson Chapter President and team captain, linebacker George Hatalowich, led a defense that limited Stetson to less than 100 yards the final 30 minutes with a team-high 11 tackles.

Notre Dame: Senior wide receiver Chase Claypool had four touchdown receptions tying him for the most in a single game in Irish history with Maurice Stovall who caught four against BYU in 2005. Three of those touchdown catches came in the first half in the commanding win over Navy, marking the first time an Irish player has posted three touchdown receptions in a single half since at least 1950. Claypool finished with seven catches for 117 yards. Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and linebacker Drew White had a team-high 10 tackles and a fumble recovery. White now leads the Fighting Irish defense in tackles this season.

Learn more about Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and linebacker Drew White in our Beyond The Trophy series

Colgate: Sparked by a defense that found its stride late in the season, the Raiders closed out their 2019 season with three straight victories after blanking Lafayette on the road. It was the third straight season Colgate has blanked Lafayette. After starting 0-7, the Raiders won four of their last five and finished 3-3 in the Patriot League behind a defense that allowed only 27 total points the final 12 quarters of the season.

Syracuse: Fueled by its defense, Syracuse ended its four-game slide and kept its hopes for a bowl bid alive by posting its first win ever against Duke in four tries. Leading 14-6 at halftime, the Orange defense forced three turnovers in the third quarter that the offense turned into 21 points to break the game open. Andre Cisco started the turnover barrage with the first pick-six of his career covering 48 yards that quickly made it 21-6. The 43-point margin of victory was the largest ever for Syracuse in an ACC game.

Western Michigan: In a wild back-and-forth affair that saw the Broncos and Ohio University combine for 10 first-half points but then 31 total points in the fourth quarter, LeVante Bellamy’s four-yard touchdown run in overtime sealed the seventh victory of the season for WMU. After the Broncos’ defense surrendered a late touchdown in regulation that forced OT, they came up with a stand to start the extra session to force a field goal.

Kent State: Trailing Buffalo at home by 21 points with half of the fourth quarter remaining, the Golden Flashes exploded for 24 unanswered points down the stretch to keep their quest for a bowl big alive. Sophomore kicker Matthew Trickett nailed a 44-yard field goal as time expired to cap the biggest fourth-quarter comeback this season in FBS. The field goal to win it by Trickett was his 20th of the season and broke the single-season Kent State record established in 2012 by Freddy Cortez. 

Florida State: For the 38th time in the last 40 years the Seminoles will appear in a bowl game after roughing up FCS Alabama State for win No. 6 this season. In his second stint as interim head coach, Odell Haggins is now 4-0 with FSU averaging nearly 43 points a game in those contests. Haggins is 2-0 this season since taking over and the 49 points scored this week is a season high.

Chapter Update: Dramatic comeback makes Illinois bowl eligible and 10 teams post Week 11 victories


With a flair for the dramatic, Illinois became bowl eligible for the first time since 2014 with an improbable come-from-behind victory at Michigan State.

The Illini trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth quarter.  In the end, Quarterback Brandon Peters threw a 5-yard touchdown to Daniel Barker with five seconds remaining to complete the rally and seal the victory.

On the final drive, Illinois converted a fourth-and-17 and drew a fourth-down pass interference call in the end zone before scoring. Peters finished with 369 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, a transfer from USC, had four receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The junior’s 178 yards is the most receiving yards by an opponent at Spartan Stadium since at least 2000 and the most by an Illinois player ever in the 47-game series history against Michigan State.

The Illini, who forced four turnovers to help fuel the comeback, have won four straight.

Baylor: The Bears stayed undefeated thanks to a triple overtime victory at TCU. The opportunity to win the game in overtime came courtesy of redshirt freshman kicker John Mayers. His previous long field goal was 38 yards. His career-best 51-yard kick with 36 seconds remaining in regulation pulled the Bears level at 9-9. Charlie Brewer’s 4-yard TD pass to Denzel Mims in the third OT was the game winner. Baylor is 9-0 for the second time in program history after opening the 2013 season with nine victories in a row.

Penn: The Quakers’ eventual game winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter came on a trick play that started in the hands of the backup quarterback who threw back to a transfer quarterback/returner/receiver who then uncorked an 80-yard touchdown pass to a converted defensive back who’d never caught a touchdown before. The long distance catch-and-run by Eric Markes from Owen Goldsberry gave Penn a 21-14 lead. Cornell scored a touchdown to cap a 16-play, 94-yard drive with 50 seconds remaining to pull to within a point. The Big Red opted to go for the win with a 2-point conversion, but Penn freshman DB Kendren Smith knocked down the pass to preserve the victory.

Notre Dame: Senior quarterback Ian Book threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 149 yards in the win over Duke to become the first player in Notre Dame history to rush for more than 100 yards in a game and throw four touchdown passes. Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and linebacker Drew White led the Irish with seven total tackles including a sack and a tackle for a loss.

Learn more about Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and tight end Brock Wright in our Beyond The Trophy series

Davidson: On a day when the Wildcats rushing attack rolled up more than 450 yards and amassed a 33-point second quarter, this victory was also one for the program record books. Junior running back Wesley Dugger took over as the all-time leading rusher in school history as part of his 118-yard effort in the win over Butler. Dugger moved past John Leverett’s mark of 3,165 yards posted in 2004 to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week. Davidson Chapter President and linebacker George Hatalowich had six tackles for a defense that limited Butler to one touchdown and only 257 total yards.

Western Michigan: Senior quarterback Jon Wassink had a career-high 131 rushing yards in the victory over Ball State. Wassink became the first WMU quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards since Paul Jorgenson had 128 against Northern Illinois in 1973. The victory made the Broncos bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive season. WMU also completed its third undefeated season at home since 2000. 

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne added three more touchdowns to his career resume in the victory over NC State to pass C.J. Spiller’s mark of 51 career touchdowns and take over as the all-time leader at Clemson with 54 career touchdowns. His 50 career rushing touchdowns is tied for second most in ACC history. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns. It was the fifth consecutive game Lawrence threw at least three touchdowns passes to become the first quarterback in school history to pass for three scores in five straight games.

Florida State: The Seminoles scored 14 unanswered points in a 45-second span inside the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away from Boston College. D.J. Matthews’ 60-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman with 1:48 to play made it 31-24 FSU. Jordan Travis made it a two-score game with a 66-yard gallop only 45 seconds later to extend the lead to 38-24. Blackman finished with 369 passing yards and wide receiver Terry Tamorrion had seven catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Colgate: Quarterback Grant Breneman rushed for a career-high 105 yards and added 195 yards through the air with a touchdown to help the Raiders notch their first home victory of the season with a win over Fordham. Colgate’s defense limited the visiting Rams to only 33 rushing yards and 208 total yards. The Raiders’ defense also added five tackles for a loss and three sacks.

Eastern Illinois: The Panthers used a furious second-half comeback that included a third-quarter successful onside kick to rally past Tennessee State for their first win of the season. EIU outscored TSU 28-3 in the second half after falling behind 35-21 at intermission. Darshon McCullough led a pair of Panthers running backs with 155 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown.

Chapter Update: Last-second field goal propels Penn to come-from-behind victory and nine teams notch Week 10 wins


On a milestone day, where Penn played the 1,400th game in program history, the Quakers first Ivy League victory of the season came in dramatic fashion at Franklin Field.

Sophomore kicker Daniel Karrash made his first collegiate field goal attempt a memorable one, as the Philadelphia native drilled a 22-yard kick with two seconds remaining to vault the Quakers past Brown.

Junior linebacker Brian O’Neill gave Penn a 35-19 lead early in the third quarter with a 21-yard scoop and score on a fumble. After that, the Quakers’ offense sputtered and Brown scored 17 unanswered points to surge in front 36-35 with 4:10 to play.

Penn went on a 16-play, 74-yard victory march, including a fourth-and-7 conversion, to set up Karrash’s dramatic winning kick.

Notre Dame: Staring down the barrel of an upset by Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium, the Fighting Irish’s struggling offense climbed off the deck in the dying minutes to rally for a one-point victory over the Hokies. Notre Dame, held scoreless in the second half up to this point, manufactured an 18-play, 87-yard drive in the final 3:22 to win it. Quarterback Ian Book capped the march with a seven-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds to play. Notre Dame Chapter President and linebacker Drew White led the Irish defense with eight tackles.

Marist: Running back Hunter Cobb had another big outing, as the Red Foxes won for the second consecutive week. The redshirt freshman accounted for 148 of Marist’s 166 yards on the ground and scored three touchdowns. In leading the Red Foxes to back-to-back victories, Cobb has rushed for 324 yards and scored five times.

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne rushed for a career 212 yards and the Tigers extended their nation best win streak to 24 games. Clemson scored 59 points in the victory to mark the fourth game in a row the Tigers have scored 45 or more points – the first time in program history that has happened. They also tied the school record for consecutive home victories with 21. Etienne’s 212 yards came on the fewest carries in school history (9), he reached 1,000 yards in the fewest number of games (9) to tie the school record and the senior also broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns with an 86-yard gallop to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Baylor: Backstopped by a defense that surrendered the fewest rushing yards allowed by a Bears team in more than four years, Baylor edged West Virginia at home to stay undefeated. The 8-0 Bears moved up in the polls to No. 11. Baylor’s defense gave up only 14 rushing yards and fewer than 225 total yards to win its first game when scoring fewer than 20 points since 2006. 

Davidson: The Wildcats never trailed, but it was a grind for the home squad against a pesky one-win Valparaiso outfit. Wesley Dugger’s 1-yard touchdown run with two minutes to play snapped a 21-all deadlock. And Davidson Chapter co-founder and President George Hatalowich iced the six-point victory with an interception inside the final minute. The victory guarantees Davidson back-to-back seasons with at least six victories for the first time since 2006 and 2007. Hatalowich finished with a team-high nine tackles.

Princeton: The Tigers ran their winning streak to 17 straight, cracking the Top Five for winning streaks during the program’s 150-year history. Princeton’s defense limited Cornell to seven points, forced three turnovers and surrendered only one third-down conversion in 11 attempts.

Learn more about Penn State Chapter Vice President and long snapper Chris Stoll in our Beyond The Trophy series

Illinois: For the first time since 2011 when they started 6-0, the Fighting Illini are on a three-game winning streak. Senior linebacker Dele Harding became the second player in the nation in the last 20 years to have 12-plus tackles, 2.0-plus tackles for a loss, 1-plus interception and 1-plus touchdown in a single game in the victory over Rutgers. Tied 10-10 at intermission, Illinois scored all 28 points in the second half to pull away.

Colgate: Two big punt returns by Abu Daramy-Swaray covering 78 total yards and the Raiders’ defense forced a pair of key second-half fumbles that led to points for victory No. 16 in 17 games against Georgetown.

Chapter Update: Stony Brook springs upset on final play and nine teams record Week 9 wins


Stony Brook roared back from an 18-point halftime deficit capped by kicker Nick Courtney’s 22-yard field goal as time expired to upset FCS No. 5 ranked Villanova.

The road victory marks the second time in program history the Seawolves beat a team ranked in the Top 5. Stony Brook defeated No. 2 Richmond in 2016.

Stony Brook scored 10 points in the final 92 seconds after trailing 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter. The Seawolves scored the final 16 points.

Quarterback Tyquell Fields was instrumental in the rally, throwing for a career-best 321 yards with one passing TD and a pair of rushing touchdowns. His 1-yard plunge with 1:32 to play pulled the Seawolves to within 35-33 after a failed two-point conversion.

Stony Brook then used all its timeouts and forced the Wildcats to punt with 21 seconds to play. The Seawolves connected on  a 40-yard completion from Fields to Nick Anderson in the dying seconds to set up the game winning field goal by Courtney.

Lehigh: For the third straight game the Mountain Hawks’ fate came down to the final play of the game. And for the third straight time Lehigh walked away with a victory. Austin Henning’s 27-yard field goal as time expired lifted Leigh to 3-0 in the Patriot League with a home victory over Georgetown. The Hoyas rallied with a 72-yard touchdown bomb on fourth-and-4 and added a two-point conversion to tie it up at 24 with 1:23 to play. Lehigh answered by calmly traveling 59 yards in eight plays to set up the winning kick. Lehigh Chapter President and wide receiver Jorge Portorreal posted a team-high eight catches for 103 yards to help the Mountain Hawks win their fourth in a row.

Penn State: Nittany Lions quarterback and Penn State Chapter President Sean Clifford threw four touchdown passes, three of them to tight end Pat Freiermuth, as the undefeated Nittany Lions posted a 21-point soggy and rain swept victory at Michigan State. Penn State is 8-0 for the first time since 2008, is 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2011 and moved up to No. 5 in the rankings. The Nittany Lions defense produced three turnovers, limited the Spartans to seven points and broke up eight passes.

Marist: Redshirt freshman running back Hunter Cobb ran for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries and the Red Foxes defense forced a pair of turnovers to upset Davidson on the road in North Carolina. The Red Foxes defense limited the No. 3 FCS rushing offense in the country to 202 yards on 46 carries. Cobb’s 89-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is the fourth-longest touchdown run by a Red Fox in the program’s 27-year FCS history and the longest in the last seven years and earned him the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Western Michigan: Senior running back LeVante Bellamy posted a career-high four touchdowns and rushed for 178 yards to lead a Broncos ground game that rolled up nearly 400 yards and six touchdowns in their victory over Bowling Green. Junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward led a WMU defense that limited the Falcons to only 266 total yards with 13 tackles (10 solo), two sacks and three tackles for a loss. 

Learn more about Kent State Chapter President and wide receiver Antwan Dixon in our Beyond The Trophy series

Illinois: The Illini rushed for a season-high 242 yards and its defense forced a pair of turnovers in the rain-soaked victory at Purdue. Senior RB Dre Brown had a career-high 131 yards on the ground to help Illinois win its second in a row and get to 4-4 overall. Junior cornerback Tony Adams became the first Illini with interceptions in back-to-back Big Ten games since Vontae Davis and Kevin Mitchell both did it against Penn State and Wisconsin in 2007.

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne and wide receiver Diondre Overton each scored three touchdowns as the undefeated Tigers extended their winning streak to 23 games with a 52-point victory over Boston College on homecoming at Memorial Stadium. Clemson’s defense held the No. 6 ranked rushing offense in the country to only 96 yards on the ground, scored a touchdown on a fumble return and had eight tackles for a loss.

Princeton: Led by a defense that produced three interceptions that led to 17 points, the Tigers rallied in the second half to overtake Harvard for win No. 16 in a row. Tigers quarterback Kevin Davidson threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns and linebacker Jeremiah Taylor had one of those interceptions and a team-high 13 tackles.

Florida State: Seminoles running back Cam Akers rushed for 144 yards, completed a couples pass for 26 yards out of the “wildcat” formation and tied a school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with four to lead FSU to a homecoming victory over Syracuse.