[Photo Story] Onward State Defeats The Daily Collegian In Flag Football

For the second straight year, Onward State history was made.

Following an inquiry from The Daily Collegian Editor-in-Chief Nick Stonesifer challenging the blog to a flag football game, Onward State sealed a victory in what is turning out to be an annual matchup between the pair of Penn State student media outlets.

Though Onward State swept The Collegian in dodgeball last year, this year’s contest of choice was flag football.

Members of Onward State arrived to CJ Gill Field at East Halls the random field behind the IM Building nearly three hours before kickoff to warm up, run routes, and get amped ahead of the battle.

Conditions were cold and windy, but the pink-powered blog was not deterred.

Ahead of kickoff, referee and Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Director of Alumni Relations Mike Poorman discussed the game’s rules with Onward State Managing Editor Keeley Lamm, Stonesifer, and the two teams, then both squads settled down for the National Anthem before rolling into play.

Team Onward graced the field first, and quarterback Noah Flenard quickly connected on a pass to Slaughter Joseph to seal a first down. Onward struggled to get its offense rolling and turned the ball over on downs at The Collegian’s 20-yard line. The print newspaper converted a touchdown but couldn’t clinch the extra conversion point to close the score at 6-0 after the first pair of possessions.

Team Onward’s second possession went nearly as poorly as the first, and the team turned it over on downs again in its own half. The Collegian picked up a second touchdown to extend its lead to 12 a play later, and the first half closed with a two-score deficit for the blog.

To open the second half, Flenard connected on a touchdown to Joe Lister to cut The Collegian’s lead, but the group couldn’t mount a comeback and fell 12-6 in the opening match of the best-of-three format.

Rain began to fall at the start of the second game as Team State and The Collegian’s second group took the field. Substitutions and flag etiquette were discussed ahead of the second game, and both squads were ready to battle it out.

After a quick break to strategize, Team State took to the field, searching to turn the tide in the second game of the series. Starting off on offense, Team State opened with an early touchdown, followed by a conversion by Onward State’s Cooper Cazares, bringing the score to 7-0.

Heroics by Collin Ward followed to help Team State scream to a 13-0 lead in the first half.

Soon after a handy block by Hailey Stutzman, Team State was back on the offensive, scoring two more touchdowns from Ryan Smith and Cazares. The Collegian responded with a late-game touchdown and conversion, but it wasn’t enough, and the second game in the series ended with a score of 25-7.

Vibes were just as high off the field as on the field, too, as Marie Moyer supplied the sideline with orange slices throughout the games.

With the series tied up, Team Onward State took to the field with Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” echoing in the background. The game started off with neither team willing to budge an inch, but The Collegian pulled ahead with two touchdowns — one before and one after halftime.

As The Collegian jumped to 12-0 in the final game, Team Onward State dug deep and made a huge push by way of an Aidan Conrad pass to Cadyn Gill that resulted in a touchdown. Flenard followed with another touchdown to lock the game at 12-all with a chance at victory via a one-point conversion on the line.

Conrad’s attempt to Lamm was tipped in a contested scramble, but Flenard recovered the ball and broke the plane before his flag was removed.

Time expired shortly after, and Onward State clinched the series with a 2-1 victory over The Daily Collegian in its second straight triumph.

The last-minute rally paid off in spades, and the sideline erupted with cheers, excitement, and “Kernkraft 400.”

And finally, after raining for the entire duration of the series, the sun came out to celebrate the hard-fought victory and featured a double rainbow!

See you next year, The Daily Collegian.

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About the Author

Samarth Kulkarni

Samarth is a Junior studying Computer Science. When he's not buried under a pile of assignments, you'll usually find him playing Cyberpunk 2077 or (re)watching a movie. If you do see him out in the wild (walking around campus), it can mean only one of two things: Either there's really good food somewhere close, or the weather is (finally) warm! Check out his photography and general shenanigans on Instagram (@samarth_k0708) 👌

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