Weekly Update: Strong start to Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 with five teams posting victories


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Thank you to Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Saint Francis, Syracuse and NC State student-athlete chapter leaders and fans of those programs for supporting the opening week of Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017.

Five of those schools, Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Syracuse and NC State, posted Week 3 victories. Only Saint Francis suffered a setback, and that was a narrow 16-14 loss to a strong Towson squad.

The six Week 1 Touchdown Pledge Drive schools combined to score 32 touchdowns with Penn State, Northwestern and NC State all posting seven or more.

Syracuse rebounded from a stinging upset at home last week by overpowering a previously 2-0 Central Michigan squad by 24 points.

Orange QB Eric Dungey rolled up 384 total yards (279 passing, 105 rushing) and three touchdowns. Syracuse led 24-17 at halftime, then outscored the Chippewas 17-0 in the third quarter to pull away.

The initial two weeks of the season had been a struggle for a Northwestern team with high expectations in the Big Ten West. The Wildcats rebounded with a solid offensive performance to overwhelm Bowling Green.

QB Clayton Thorson, RB Justin Jackson and WR Garrett Dickerson all had big games for an offense that pumped out nearly 700 total yards.

Penn State moved back to No. 4 overall in the country after the Nittany Lions used huge games from Heisman Trophy candidates, RB Saquon Barkley and QB Trace McSorley, to steam roll Georgia State. The duo combined for 522 total yards and six touchdowns.

McSorley threw for 309 yards with four touchdowns and ran for another score to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance Award for Week 3.

For all its offense, the Nittany Lions defense has shown some teeth in their first 12 quarters by allowing only one touchdown and pitching a pair of shutouts.

Meet Northwestern University Chapter President and Wildcats starting guard Tommy Doles in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

NC State piled up more than 550 yards of offense against Furman and scored all seven of its touchdowns by the end of third quarter to move the Wolfpack to 2-1 overall.

Wide receiver Stephen Carlson hauled in three touchdown passes from Chad Kanoff to spark Princeton to a solid victory over visiting San Diego to open the Tigers’ 2017 season. The defending Ivy League co-champions threw for more than 350 yards and the defense forced three key turnovers.

Quarterback Joe Carbone tossed three touchdown passes and Stony Brook grinded out nearly 300 yards on the ground in completely dominating Sacred Heart. Three Seawolves, Stacey Bedell, Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine, each had 65 or more yards on the ground.

UPenn won its wild ’17 season opener at Franklin Field behind 35 second-half points to subdue winless Ohio Dominican. RB Karekin Brooks totaled 142 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns to spark the Quakers.

The Clemson defense once again announced its presence with authority as the defending National Champions limited ACC foe Louisville to a single touchdown through three quarters to grab a 33-7 lead. New Tigers QB Kelly Bryant threw for 316 yards with one score and added 26 yards on the ground with a pair of end zone trips. WR Ray-Ray McCloud had seven grabs for 115 yards and a TD.

Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush and RB Josh Adams combined to run over Boston College at Chestnut Hill. The Fighting Irish duo teamed up for 436 yards on 39 carries with Wimbish scoring four times.

 

 

 

Penn State QB Trace McSorley earns Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week


MCSORLEY PSUDefending Big Ten champion Penn State improved to 3-0 and scored 50 or more points for the second time this season in its victory over Georgia State Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.

Redshirt junior quarterback Trace McSorley struggled a bit against rival Pitt last week, but he came out white hot against the Panthers from Georgia State in a 56-0 victory.

McSorley, who is the co-President of the Penn State Chapter, completed 18 of 23 passes for 309 yards with four touchdowns in less than three quarters of work to earn the Week 3 Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

The Penn State quarterback, who threw his TD passes to four different receivers, also added a rushing touchdown for the Nittany Lions as part of their Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive game.

Penn State raised more than $12,500 by scoring eight times against Georgia State in support of Uplifting Athletes and its mission.

Previous Player of the Week Winners

Week 1: RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame

Week 2: QB Ryan Finley, NC State

Penn State Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive Saturday against Georgia State


Penn State TDPD 2017The Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, led by co-Presidents Trace McSorley and Jason Cabinda, is counting on the Nittany Lions offense to put a few touchdowns on the board Saturday, September 16 for its 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive to support the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

The leadership team of the Penn State Chapter and all the members of the 2017 Nittany Lions squad is asking fans to support their efforts when Penn State welcomes Georgia State to Beaver Stadium by making a pledge through the Penn State Chapter online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Fans can simply make a pledge for each touchdown the Nittany Lions score that day and they can follow along to see the impact they are helping the players make.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Penn State Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

The Penn State Chapter, formed in 2003, is the charter Uplifting Athletes Chapter and served as the catalyst for what has become a nationwide movement. In 15 years the PSU Chapter has raised more than $1 million to support the rare disease community.

Support the Penn State Chapter and its efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by signing up for its Touchdown Pledge Drive today!

Weekly Update: Six teams get out of the gate strong with 2-0 starts


WEEK 2 UPDATE GRAPHICCongratulations to Penn State, Maryland, Clemson, Illinois, Washington and Saint Francis for starting the 2017 season 2-0.

Defending Big Ten Champion Penn State used a fast start and solid defense to hold off in-state rival Pittsburgh at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions defense, led by 12 tackles from safety Marcus Allen, came up with three turnovers, had five sacks and nine tackles for a loss in holding the Panthers to one touchdown.

Maryland’s offense has scored 50 or more points in both its victories over previously ranked Texas (51 points) and in the their home opener against Towson (63).

The Terps piled up nearly 400 yards on the ground led by Ty Johnson’s 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only five carries.

Meet University of Maryland Chapter President and kicker Adam Greene in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Defending National Champion Clemson used a spectacular defensive effort to subdue Auburn at Death Valley. The Tigers’ defense limited Auburn to six points and 117 total yards on 66 plays. The Clemson defense also registered 11 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.

Illinois running back Mike Epstein rushed for 111 yards and the Fighting Illini defense held Western Kentucky to fewer than 250 yards to grab a 13-point victory and improve to 2-0.

Led by 259 yards and a couple touchdowns from QB Jake Browning, the Washington Huskies put up more than 500 yards of total offense in a cruise-control victory over Montana.

Saint Francis QB Bear Fenimore threw for nearly 300 yards and RB Jymere Jordan-Toney added 105 yards on the ground with a score to power the Red Flash to 2-0 with a convincing home victory.

Stony Brook used a pair of touchdowns 2 minutes apart in the fourth quarter to pull away from Rhode Island to notch its first victory of the season.

Led by an impressive outing from Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week Ryan Finley, NC State defeated Marshall in their home opener at Carter-Finley Stadium.

After a gut-wrenching loss to Tennessee in its opener, Georgia Tech rebounded to claim its first victory of the year over Jacksonville State on the strength of a 20-point third quarter and a strong Yellow Jackets defense.

Fordham defensive back Lawrence Menyah returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown with 1:29 to play to propel the Rams to a come-from-behind victory. Fordham scored the final 17 points after falling behind 31-21 midway through the third quarter.

 

 

Weekly Chapter Update: ’16 Rare Disease Champion Jake Olson plays for USC Trojans


JAKE UA PHOTOUSC long snapper Jake Olson has fulfilled his dream of playing in a college football game.

The 2016 winner of the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award is now officially a USC Trojans football letterman after snapping for the final extra point in the Trojans’ season opening victory over Western Michigan.

“I just loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I’ll remember forever.

Olson is legally blind after losing sight in both eyes to the rare disease retinoblastoma. He lost his left eye to the disease at 10 months.  The night before his final surgery in 2009 to take the sight in his right eye away, then USC head coach Pete Carroll invited Olson to meet the team.

“To take a situation that ugly, and then to fast-forward eight years and to have that same kid be able to snap on the football field with the team that really got him through that time, is just beautiful. It’s emotional. Incredible,” Olson said.

Carroll, the Seahawks head coach, was tipped off this might happen so he was watching on TV Saturday night when Olson entered the game.

“I was so excited to see it I couldn’t stop crying. It was thrilling,” Carroll told The Seattle Times. “That was an incredible moment. I’m so glad that coach (Clay) Helton figured out a way to create an opportunity for Jake to show what he could do. This is just an extraordinary young man.”

He was invited to join the Trojans squad after he enrolled at USC in the fall of 2015 and received an NCAA waiver to practice with the team. He snapped in the spring games, but it wasn’t until last Saturday that Olson saw the field in a regular season game.

Meet Stony Brook Chapter President and tight end P.J. Edwards in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

 In what is clearly the biggest win for the Maryland program this decade – and perhaps even longer.  The Terrapins marched into Austin a nearly three-touchdown underdog to No. 23 Texas and marched away with a 51-41 victory.

It was the first victory for Maryland against a ranked opponent on the road in nine years.

Maryland led 27-7 at one point in the second half, then held off a Longhorns rally that included Texas touchdowns on a blocked field goal return, a kickoff return and interception return for a score.

Running back Ty Johnson was a beast for the Terrapins, rushing for 132 yards, returning a kickoff 60 yards and scoring one touchdown. Wide receiver D.J. Moore had a big afternoon as well with seven catches for 133 yards and a score.

Illinois used a late touchdown from Mike Epstein and a blocked field goal as time expired to rally past Ball State at home.

Defending National Champion Clemson rolled up 665 yards of total offense on its way to a comfortable victory over Kent State at Death Valley. New starting QB threw for 236 yards on only 22 attempts.

Penn State, the defending Big Ten Champion, saw its dynamic trio of QB Trace McSorley, RB Saquon Barkley and TE Mike Gesicki each account for two touchdowns in blanking Akron. Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, accounted for 256 total yards on 18 touches.

Notre Dame running backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, a 2017 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award finalist, combined for 285 yards and three touchdowns as the Fighting Irish subdued Temple. Adams earned Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week honors for his stellar effort.

Nebraska was embroiled in a nip-and-tuck affair with underrated Arkansas State all the way before holding on for a seven-point victory over the Red Wolves. Husker RB Trey Bryant rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

Washington, Syracuse and Northwestern all won their openers in different fashion. Northwestern needed a pair of 1-yard TD plunges by QB Clayton Thorson to rally past Nevada. Syracuse put up big numbers offensively in rolling Central Connecticut State and defending Pac-12 Champion Washington subdued Rutgers by outscoring the Scarlet Knights 20-7 in the second half.

Georgia Tech dropped a heartbreaker in double OT to Tennessee Monday night. And Stony Brook came up with a strong effort against nationally ranked USF on the road in Tampa before a late flurry allowed the Bulls to edge the Seawolves.

NEW CHAPTER SCOREBOARD

Seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders up for off-the-field awards in 2017


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Uplifting Athletes is proud to have seven college football student-athlete chapter leaders nominated for national off-the-field awards this year.

Five players are nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team and four are on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy.

Syracuse quarterback Zach Mahoney and kicker Adam Greene of Maryland made the grade on both lists.

Joining those two as nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team are center Nick Allegretti from Illinois, defensive lineman Kurt Holuba from Princeton and Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber.

Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

Uplifting Athletes has placed at least one player on the AFCA Good Works Team every year since 2012.

Joining Mahoney and Greene on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list are Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and Florida State center Alec Eberle.

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.  Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Congratulations to these seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders for making the rare disease cause a priority and using the power of sport for social good.

 

 

It’s Touchdown Pledge Drive Season again!


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For the fourth consecutive year, our chapters will shine a spotlight on rare diseases by holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive (TDPD) game.

This year, the entire nationwide chapter network will play their TDPD game during the month of September.

The Touchdown Pledge Drive game is an excellent chance for each chapter to expose the rare disease cause to their college football fan base and bring another level of awareness and support to the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

Please visit the Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive hub and choose your favorite team to support. Simply make a pledge towards the number of touchdowns your team scores that day and follow along to see the impact you are helping the players make.

Every dollar helps Uplifting Athletes and its chapter network tackle rare diseases.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to leadership development, patient focused programs, rare disease awareness and rare disease research.