Chapter Update: Touchdown with 16 seconds left propels Fordham and 10 team post Week 7 victories


Down to its last gasp, Fordham quarterback Tim DeMorant hit Fotis Kokosioulis on a fourth-down touchdown pass from 17 yards out with 16 seconds remaining to cap a thrilling come-from-behind Patriot League victory at Georgetown.

Fordham was on the cusp of losing its second game this season by a single score when DeMorant was picked off at the Rams 34 with 2:57 remaining.

The defense set the table for victory by holding serve against the Hoyas offense, coming up with a fourth-down stop. Fordham took over 73 yards from the end zone with 81 seconds remaining and no timeouts.

Three completions covering 55 yards moved the ball to the Georgetown 17 before three straight incompletions set up the final-play drama.

Rams RB Zach Davis notched his fourth straight 100-yard game and the 30 points by Fordham was the most surrendered by the Hoyas defense this year who came into the game ranked No. 2 in FCS scoring defense.

Penn State: Head coach James Franklin recorded his first career road victory in 12 attempts against a ranked opponent by edging Iowa to remain unbeaten. Penn State’s defense produced the only turnovers of the game in the second half and freshman RB Noah Cain had his second consecutive 100-yard effort to power the Nittany Lions.

NC State: For the second consecutive game the Wolfpack defense recorded eight sacks to subdue Syracuse in a low-scoring affair.  The Pack’s 16 total sacks in back-to-back games are the most in consecutive games in school history. The previous high was 14 (vs. UVA and UNC) in 1982.

Learn more about Syracuse Chapter Vice President and Punter/Kicker/Holder Nolan Cooney in our Beyond The Trophy series

Penn: The Quakers finished the non-conference portion of their schedule 2-2 thanks to four touchdowns and 178 rushing yards from Karekin Brooks.  The senior had three rushing touchdowns, caught a TD pass and averaged 6.4 yards per carry.

Kent State: Behind a defense that limited rival Akron to fewer than 300 yards, the Golden Flashes soared to the top of the MAC standings and claimed the Wagon Wheel game by rolling the Zips. Kent State Chapter President Antwan Dixon had five catches for Kent State.

Princeton: The Tigers improved to 4-0 and have now won 14 straight after overwhelming winless Lafayette. Collin Eaddy had three touchdown runs to power the Princeton offense and the defense limited the visitors to seven first downs and 162 yards of total offense on 57 plays.

Colgate: Defensive tackle Nick Wheeler registered two sacks against Bucknell to break a 38-year-old Colgate career sack record. Wheeler bumped his sack total to six for the season and 29½ for his career, passing Kelly Robinson, who tallied 28½ from 1979-81. Wheeler earned the Week 7 Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Baylor: The upstart Bears moved to 6-0 with a double OT victory over Texas Tech in a wild back-and-forth contest that saw the lead changed hands six times. Baylor QB Charlie Brewer struggled at times, but came through with three rushing touchdowns and an 81 yard march down the field late in the fourth quarter for a field goal to force overtime. In the second OT, Baylor won it with a 5-yard touchdown run by JaMycal Hasty.

Western Michigan: A 21-point second quarter explosion powered the Broncos to a homecoming victory over Miami (Ohio). Western Michigan is 4-0 at Waldo Stadium this season. Grad transfer Keith Mixon Jr. sparked the offense with touchdown catches covering 46 and 37 yards. WMU Chapter President Justin Tranquill tied for the team high in tackles with nine and also had a pass break-up. 

Notre Dame: Powered by running back Tony Jones’ career 176 rushing yards, the Fighting Irish jumped to a 17-3 halftime lead and held off a late charge from USC. Jones had 120 of those yards in the first half. 

Clemson: Behind a defense that produced four takeaways and limited Florida State to only 253 total yards, the defending National Champion Tigers became just the 15th FBS program to reach 750 all-time wins, and the first ACC program to reach that mark. Clemson RB Travis Etienne finished with 127 yards, three touchdowns and became the seventh player in school history to rush for more than 3,000 yards.

Beyond The Trophy 2019: Get to know Syracuse Chapter Vice President and Orange punter/kicker Nolan Cooney


Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Nolan Cooney

College: Syracuse University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-3, 201-pound, redshirt junior, punter/placekicker

High School: East Greenwich High School, East Greenwich, R.I.

About Nolan: Shortly after arriving at Syracuse Nolan became involved with Uplifting Athletes. He has served in a leadership role for three years and provides invaluable leadership and experience on behalf of the Rare Disease Community as the Vice President of the Syracuse Chapter. Nolan attended the Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He has been part of three Lift For Life events and has a passion for using his platform and voice to serve others through his own experiences. … In his second year as the holder for one of the better overall kicking games in the country. Nolan is unique in that he can punt and place kick if necessary. He is a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection, a five-time member of the Syracuse Athletic Director’s honor roll and in 2017 and 2018 was a member of SAAC.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

COONEY: The turnaround of Syracuse football. Following consecutive losing seasons, the team meshed last season and we won 10 games. 

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?

COONEY: I was introduced to Uplifting Athletes by my teammates. I found a connection with my own life, as I am a testicular cancer survivor. Uplifting Athletes and I share similar passions. Using sports, specifically college football, to raise awareness also affords me the opportunity to use my platform to share my story and the importance athletics plays in it.

What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?

COONEY: Through Uplifting Athletes, I’ve been privileged to attend the Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference. During that time I was able to collaborate and connect with so many different football players from around the country. I learned that all the athletes go through similar situations, and through all the high and lows, everybody has similar experiences.

What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?

COONEY: Playing college football is an amazing experience and privilege. Utilize playing college football to your advantage. You are part of a very select group, make sure you take advantage of it.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

COONEY: New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. He’s a workhorse who capitalized on his opportunity. He’s gritty determined and focused.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

COONEY: Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He is the ultimate leader and his success in NFL is unmatched at the highest level of competition. He finds the best attributes and skill in players and coaches to their strengths.

NOLAN ON THE HOT SEAT

What is your perfect pizza?

COONEY: Cheese Pizza. Simply the Gold Standard … NYC Thin Crust

All time favorite movie?

COONEY: Shawshank Redemption

What is your go-to fast food restaurant?

COONEY: Chipotle

Favorite sports team (any sport)?

COONEY: Boston Red Sox

What is the most used app on your phone?

COONEY: Twitter

Chapter Update: High drama from Lehigh and seven teams register Week 6 victories


Lehigh won its second game in a row behind a defense that held Colgate in check all day and came up with a dramatic stop just short of the goal line on the final play of the game.

Freshman Zaythan Hill put the Mountain Hawks in front 21-14 with a 9-yard touchdown scamper with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.

But Colgate zipped down the field, thanks to three completions and a pass interference call, to move to the Lehigh 9-yard line with 1 second remaining.

Raiders quarterback Grant Breneman hit wideout Garrett Oakey in the flat on the run, but as Oakey raced toward the corner of the end zone strong safety Divine Buckrham, the Lehigh Chapter Vice President, swooped in and brought Oakey down two feet short of the goal line.

It was the second consecutive week where the Lehigh defense delivered a seven-point victory in a low scoring game. The Mountain Hawks limited Colgate to 213 total yards, registered seven sacks and allowed only three third-down conversions.

Senior linebacker Keith Woetzel led the Lehigh defensive effort with 13 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Baylor: The undefeated Bears used another lights-out performance by their defense and a running game that took over in the fourth quarter to record their first Big 12 Conference road victory in two years. Baylor’s defense surrendered only one touchdown, had two takeaways and finished with an eye-popping six sacks and 15 tackles for loss – the most in a conference game in more than a decade. Nursing an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Bears’ ground game churned out 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to move Baylor to 5-0 and a spot inside the latest Top 25 rankings.

Davidson: The Wildcats scored on their first four possessions and six of their first seven drives to run away from Morehead State in the Pioneer League opener for Davidson. Junior running back Wesley Dugger had four touchdowns on the ground as part of a 134 yards on 14 carries day. Davidson Chapter President and linebacker George Hatalowich tied for second on the team in tackles with six and also had a tackle for loss.

Penn State: A fast start by the offense and a ferocious four-quarter effort by the Nittany Lions defense suffocated visiting Purdue in the 100th Homecoming at Penn State. Before the game was 16 minutes old, the Nittany Lions led 28-0 thanks to three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown from Penn State Chapter President and quarterback Sean Clifford. The defense took it from there, limiting the Boilermakers to 104 total yards and minus-19 rushing yards – the fewest rushing yards allowed by Penn State since 1978 and fifth-fewest since 1947. Defensive ends Yetur Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney combined for five of the Nittany Lions’ 10 sacks – one shy of the school record.

Learn more about Eastern Illinois Chapter President and quarterback Jaylon Banks in our Beyond The Trophy series

Princeton: Trailing by a field goal at halftime, the Tigers rallied for 14 second-half points while the defense locked down Columbia and kept the Lions off the scoreboard. The defending Ivy League champions have now won 13 straight games. A blocked field goal by Joey DeMarco early in the fourth quarter that would have made it 14-13 set the table for Princeton to put the game away. The Tigers followed that blocked FG with a 10-play, 80-yard march that made it a two-score game. Princeton’s defense limited Columbia to 35 rushing yards and 3 of 14 on third down.

Notre Dame: For the second time this season, quarterback Ian Book threw five touchdown passes in a game, only this time all five of his TD tosses came in the first half to make Book the first Fighting Irish QB in school history to throw five touchdown passes in a half to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week. Notre Dame Chapter Vice President Brock Wright had one catch for 40 yards in the blowout of Bowling Green.

Maryland: Four of the Terrapins’ seven touchdowns covered 42 or more yards including an 80-yard TD pass on the first play of the game and a 100-yard kickoff return to end Maryland’s two-game slide. Maryland scored on three consecutive offensive plays in the second quarter to open up a 27-7 cushion. All three Maryland wins this season have been by a 40-plus point differential, marking the first season the Terrapins have posted three 40-plus point victories since 1974.

Beyond The Trophy 2019: Get to know Eastern Illinois Chapter President and Panthers QB Jaylon Banks


Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Jaylon Banks

College: Eastern Illinois University

Height, weight, class, position: 5-11, 210-pound, redshirt sophomore, quarterback

High School: Oswego East in Oswego, Ill.

About Jaylon: The redshirt sophomore quarterback helped Eastern Illinois launch an Uplifting Athletes Chapter at rapid-fire pace in 2019. EIU held its inaugural Lift For Life earlier this year, and the value of the signature event and the rare disease cause inspired Jaylon to step forward and assume the role of Chapter President. He knows as the quarterback he is already in a high-profile position, and he wants to use that platform to help inspire the Rare Disease Community off the field. A native of Illinois, Jaylon set record at Oswego East High School his senior season for yards passing and touchdowns passes. And after a redshirt year in 2017, Jaylon appeared in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2018. He made his collegiate debut against Tennessee Tech.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

BANKS: I would say my memorable experience as a college football players would be my freshman year when we played Tennessee State. We played in Nissan Stadium, which is the home for the Tennessee Titans. Being able to play at a venue like that was very surreal. As a kid that is what you dream of, and to actually be playing a college football game was something I will never forget.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?

BANKS: I was introduced to Uplifting Athletes when we held an event at my school. I saw the great things that we were able to do when we put on the event. That was something I wanted to be involved with after the event.

What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?

BANKS: I learned that it just takes a little bit of your time to make a difference. It is not hard to put out a link for an event, get the word out and then participate. The small sacrifice that you make can make a big difference in someone else’s life.

What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?

BANKS: First thing I would tell them is to believe in themselves. You can do it. Do not listen to the naysayers, listen to yourself. As long you work as hard as you can in every aspect of your life, there is no reason why you can’t play college football.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

BANKS: Russell Wilson is my favorite NFL player. Russell is listed at 5-11 and 215 pounds. I am 5-11 and 210 pounds. For a quarterback whose measurable are almost identical to mine gives me the motivation that I can play the quarterback position at a high level despite my “small” stature.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

BANKS: The person I would choose is Alexander The Great. The reason why is, our food would be endless. He conquered lands from Macdeonia, through the Middle East, and almost all of Asia. From a conservation standpoint, I would be able to speak with one of the greatest leaders to ever live.

JAYLON ON THE HOT SEAT

What is your perfect pizza?

BANKS: Stuffed deep dish from Giordano’s

All time favorite movie?

BANKS: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

What is your go-to fast food restaurant?

BANKS: Popeyes

Favorite sports team (any sport)?

BANKS: Minnesota Vikings

What is the most used app on your phone?

BANKS: ESPN App

Chapter Update: Late field goal propels Baylor to 4-0 and 13 teams post Week 5 victories


Baylor redshirt freshman kicker John Mayers missed a 38-yard field goal early in the game, but drilled one from the same distance into a stiff wind with just 21 seconds remaining to propel the Bears to 4-0 overall with the victory in their Big 12 opener over Iowa State.

Late in the third quarter, the Bears led 20-0 before the Cyclones offense caught fire and ripped off 21 unanswered points on three consecutive drives to surge in front with 3:45 to play.

Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer rallied his squad with a clutch 13-play, 54-yard drive that set up the winning field goal. Brewer was 7-of-10 on the decisive drive and converted three times on third-down plays.

The Bears have won six straight games (dating back to 2018 season) for the first time since opening the 2016 season 6-0.

Penn State: Sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford had a career night and set a school record in only his fourth start. The Penn State Chapter President set personal records for yards passing (398) and completions (26) and he set a school record for passing yards in a half with 287 in the blowout of Maryland. Clifford also scored the first rushing touchdown of his career on the Nittany Lions first snap from scrimmage. The shutout by the Penn State defense was the first at Maryland since 1970.

Penn: Senior running back Karekin Brooks scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs covering 2 and 31 yards to seal a road victory at Lafayette for the Quakers’ first win of the season. Penn was nursing a four-point lead entering the final 15 minutes before Brooks found the end zone twice. He finished with 202 yards on 29 carries.

Brooks’ 202-yard game was the third 200-plus yard game of his career and in the process he became the first player in program history to post three career 200-plus yard games to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Western Michigan: The Victory Cannon will stay in Kalamazoo for the seventh time in the last nine years after the Broncos rolled over in-state rival Central Michigan. The WMU defense limited the Chippewas to 107 rushing yards and shut them out for three quarters. Western Michigan Chapter President Justin Tranquill recorded the first sack of his career, his second interception in 2019 and also had a tackle for a loss. 

Lehigh: It took one of the best defensive efforts in recent Mountain Hawks history for Lehigh to post its first victory of the season. Despite being on the field a whopping 37 minutes, the Mountain Hawk defense held Merrimack to minus-25 yards rushing, recorded six sacks, posted two takeaways and the only points Lehigh surrendered was a second-quarter field goal. 

Notre Dame: Behind a defense that posted eight sacks and five turnovers, the Fighting Irish rallied from its first halftime deficit of the season to outscore Virginia 21-3 in the second half in a battle of previously Top 20 ranked teams. Defensive end Julian Okwara led the defense with 3 sacks, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles, both of which led to Irish touchdowns. Notre Dame Chapter President Drew White tied for the team-high in tackles with seven including five solo stops.

Saint Francis: A blocked punt set up the Red Flash for the only touchdown of the game in a defensive tussle in Rhode Island with Bryant. In it’s three wins, Saint Francis has only surrendered 14, 13 and six points. In a game that saw the two squads combined for 20 punts, the Red Flash defense limited Bryant to 210 total yards, a pair of field goals and 2 of 17 on third down. SFU Chapter President Nick Rinella paced the defense with eight tackles including seven solo stops and a tackle for a loss.

Florida State: Quarterback Alex Hornibook, a graduate transfer from Wisconsin, made his first career start for the Seminoles and threw for a career-high 316 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over NC State. The victory over the Wolfpack marked the first time since 2016 that FSU has posted back-to-back victories in ACC games since the 2016 season.

Learn more about NC State Chapter Vice President Dylan Autenrieth in our Beyond The Trophy series

Stony Brook: Junior quarterback Tyquell Fields scrambled 50 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-down play to score with 11 seconds remaining to give the Seawolves a dramatic come-from-behind road victory in their CAA opener. Stony Brook and Rhode Island combined to score 37 points in the wild fourth quarter that saw URI score a pair of touchdowns in less than 30 seconds inside the final 2 minutes to erase a 10-point deficit.

Syracuse: Quarterback Tommy DeVito, the first-year starter for the Orange, threw four touchdown passes for the second consecutive game becoming only the second Syracuse quarterback in program to have multiple four-plus touchdown games during his career in the comfortable win over Holy Cross. Former Orange signal caller Ryan Nassib threw four TD passes in a game four times during his career.

Princeton: Senior quarterback Andrew Davidson, making only his second start for the Tigers, broke the Princeton and Ivy League single-game record for touchdown passes in a game with seven in the victory over Bucknell. Senior wide receiver Andrew Griffin hauled in four of those touchdown passes to tie the 28-year-old school and Ivy League record for touchdowns by a wide receiver in a game. 

Fordham: Rams linebacker Ryan Greenhagen, coming off back-to-back Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors, appears to be a strong candidate to make it three in a row after posting 13 tackles, including 10 solo, a career-high 4.5 tackles for a loss and one sack in a victory over Richmond. Defensive back Dervin Hylton Jr. knocked down a pair of passes in the end zone in the dying seconds to preserve the second win of the season for Fordham.

Clemson: The defending National Champions made it 20 victories in a row thanks to its defense stuffing North Carolina on a two-point conversion attempt inside the final two minutes to preserve a one-point victory over the Tar Heels. It was the first road victory for the Tigers at North Carolina since 2002.

Beyond The Trophy 2019: Get to know NC State tight end and Chapter Vice President Dylan Autenrieth


Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Dylan Autenrieth

College: North Carolina State University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-4, 240-pound, redshirt junior, tight end

High School: North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga.

About Dylan: This is the third consecutive year Dylan has been a regular and consistent contributor for the Wolfpack as a tight end and on special teams. Saw action in every game as a redshirt freshman in 2017 and in 2018 was the Co-recipient of the team’s Bo Rein Award, given to the player who provides vital contribution in an unsung role. Last season Dylan also registered his first career catch in a road win at Louisville. Several recent NC State Chapter Leaders have come out of the Wolfpack’s tight end room, and Dylan stepped up in 2019 to serve the Rare Disease Community by attending the Leadership Development Conference and serving at the Vice President. The two-time Academic All-ACC selection already has three catches for 40 yards this season – both career-high numbers.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

AUTENRIETH: It would have to be running out of the tunnel every Game day. Doesn’t get much better than that.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?

AUTENRIETH: One of my teammates told me about it and about the cause and I wanted to be a part of something special like Uplifting Athletes.  

What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?

AUTENRIETH: I have learned from this how having a good cause and motivation can get you a long way, and you can impact a lot of people!

What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?

AUTENRIETH: Just be yourself.  Do not try to act like someone you are not to fit in.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

AUTENRIETH: Tom Brady because of how consistent he is and how long he has been dominate for… It is just impressive how he still tears apart defenses as a 42 year old.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

AUTENRIETH: Kobe Bryant just because of his competitive nature. I would love to just pick apart his brain and see what he has to share with me.  

DYLAN ON THE HOT SEAT

What is your perfect pizza?

AUTENRIETH: Meat lovers

All time favorite movie?

AUTENRIETH: Law Abiding Citizen

What is your go-to fast food restaurant?

AUTENRIETH: Subway

Favorite sports team (any sport)?

AUTENRIETH: New York Football Giants

What is the most used app on your phone?

AUTENRIETH: Twitter

Get ready for Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019 coming this October


Every touchdown scored during the month of October by participating members of the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of college football student-athlete led chapters will help support the Rare Disease Community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by college football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team in their off-the-field efforts by supporting their on-field performance.

“Uplifting Athletes’ college football chapters provide a unique platform to raise awareness for the Rare Disease Community. Touchdown Pledge Drive is an in-season student-athlete led initiative to shine a national spotlight on rare diseases,” Uplifting Athletes Director of Sports Impact Brett Brackett said. “We are grateful to each and every school that is participating this year by spreading awareness and encouraging their fans to pledge per touchdown scored during games in October to support the mission of Uplifting Athletes.”

Clemson, Colgate, Davidson, Fordham, Illinois, Kent State, Lehigh, Marist, NC State, Northwestern, Penn, Penn State, Saint Francis, Stony Brook,  Syracuse and Western Michigan chapters have each committed to helping Uplifting Athletes Tackle Rare Diseases by participating in Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019.

Fans can simply make a pledge to their favorite college-football student-athlete led chapter for each touchdown they score in October. Then as the games unfold, watch and cheer as each touchdown scored helps raise money to support the Rare Disease Community.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019 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 our nationwide network of teams is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

Find your favorite Uplifting Athletes Chapter using college football as a platform to shine a spotlight on the Rare Disease Community, and support their efforts by signing up for Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019 today!