Five Former Shore Stars Help Penn State Shock No. 2 Ohio State
The biggest upset of the college football season featured five former Shore Conference stars all contributing on Saturday night in a wild scene at Beaver Stadium.
Unranked Penn State stunned No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21, in the Big Ten, taking the lead on Grant Haley's 60-yard return of a blocked field goal with four minutes left in the game and holding on to send the crowd of 107,280 fans into delirium after the biggest win by the Nittany Lions in years.
Defensive end Garrett Sickels, a former Red Bank Regional standout, played like a man possessed after sitting out the first half due to suspension. He had 9 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss, all in the second half, in the best game of his career on the biggest stage.
Linebacker Manny Bowen, a former Barnegat star, finished third on the team with 11 tackles, including a tackle for a three-yard loss.
Offensively, tight end Mike Gesicki, a legend at Southern Regional, finished with a team-high 4 catches for 46 yards.
Wide receiver Saeed Blacknall, a former Manalapan star, chipped in with a huge 35-yard catch to the Ohio State two-yard line that set up a touchdown that cut the Buckeyes' lead to 21-14 with 13:32 left in the game.
Former Toms River North kicker/punter Chris Gulla also saw action as the holder on extra points and field goals in the win.
Also, former Hunterdon Central star Jason Cabinda, who led the Red Devils to the Central Jersey Group IV title over Manalapan in 2013, finished with 12 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss at linebacker for the Nittany Lions.