Thanks to some grace under pressure by quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) and a hardworking defense headed by Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J.) and Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.), Penn State was able to come from behind for the third time this season (Minnesota, Ohio State) in order to maintain its stellar record and secure the win.
Penn State started off in a promising manner as the team notched the first touchdown of the game on their very first drive down the field.
McSorley ran 10 yards for a touchdown, followed by the typical perfect Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.) kick.
Despite a formidable arm by Richard Lagow (Plano, Texas), Penn State’s defense kept the Lions in the game.
Malik Golden (Hartford, Conn.) forced a fumble with just over a minute to go in the first. The fumble was recovered by Bell.
At the start of the second, Indiana scored a touchdown to tie up the score.
After a difficult time in the first half as key offensive line players like Paris Palmer and Connor McGovern (Larksville, Pa.) became injured, a fumble recovered by Christian Campbell (Phenix City, Ala.) resulted in a six yard pass to Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del.) in the end zone.
The final minutes of the first half were rough, with a McSorley pass intercepted, resulting in an Indiana touchdown to tie up the score yet again at 14-14 heading into halftime.
To start out the third quarter, Indiana kicked a field goal to bring them in the lead by three points.
In uncharacteristic fashion, another McSorley pass was intercepted, ultimately resulting in an Indiana touchdown, bringing the score to a heart-pounding 24-14.
Not a team to panic, the Nittany Lions stayed collected. Although McSorley was noticeably hurting from an ankle injury sustained during the game, he picked up his game to result in a 43 yard pass to Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J.) which led to a 21 yard pass to Godwin for a Penn State touchdown (24-21, Indiana leading).
In a play that shocked the crowd, Penn State employed a successful flea-flicker, executed by McSorley and Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) that ended up granting Penn State a 54 yard pass to Indiana’s three yard line.
It was then Barkley who gave Penn State the lead, running four yards for a touchdown, 28-24.
That amazing moment was soon drowned out by another Indiana touchdown on the Hoosier’s next drive.
Undeterred, McSorley strung together passes to Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.), Godwin, and Barkley and marched the Lions down the field into the Hoosier’s end zone to come from behind and retake the lead, 35-31.
Penn State then kicked a field goal to assume a more comfortable lead, 38-31.
“We’re a team that is gonna fight through adversity,” said Gesicki of his team pulling out a win.
In an amazing turn of events, Lagow was sacked by Bell with 29 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, causing a fumble.
The ball was recovered by Torrence Brown (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), who did a good ol’ scoop and score, sealing the deal with a 45-31 win for Penn State.
“Any win is a good win,” said Barkley.
We agree, Saquon! Penn State hits the road again next weekend against Rutgers.