TEMPLE DEFEATS PENN STATE
The highly anticipated day had finally arrived: Temple’s football team was about to face its biggest rival in the first game of the season. Fans, students, faculty and alumni gathered at Lincoln Financial Field on September 5, 2015 to witness a game that would soon make history.
Temple students filled sections of the stadium donned in their cherry and white attire. In the sold-out game, Penn State Nittany Lions began with an early lead against Temple. It wasn’t until the middle of the third quarter that the Owls tied the game. From there, the Owls continued to score against their longtime rivals.
“Now is a really special time for the future,” said Cherry Crusade membership coordinator Dan Roper. “Hopefully, we will get the attention, athletics-wise.”
While the victory was exhilarating for all Owls fans, it held a special meaning for members of the Cherry Crusade. Sam Forman, president of the Crusade, has been following Temple’s athletics closely since he was a freshman. Now a senior, Forman is instrumental in orchestrating team spirit throughout the Crusade.
“Cherry Crusade is a student organization whose mission is to support Temple athletics and build school spirit through athletics,” Forman said. “We try to get people to show school spirit and go to the games.”
The game created many opportunities for the rest of the season, placing Temple in national rankings. Fans were very optimistic about the year’s football season.
“I am looking forward to this team, the guys I have grown up with at Temple, getting better and achieving the national success that they deserve,” Forman said. “It is exciting because a lot of behind-the-scene things go behind this. We can be a part of an environment that is excited about the game.”
Late in the third quarter, Temple quarterback P.J. Walker scored a touchdown that put the Owls ahead of the Nittany Lions. The Owls sacked Penn State’s quarterback, Christian Hackenburg, a total of 10 times, resulting in a final score of 27 to 10. For the first time since 1941, the Temple Owls reigned over their longtime rivals.
“It was a really special day for the university. Symbolically, it meant a lot for us,” Forman said. “This is about us, this is about Temple University. This is about our peers that play football excelling against so many odds.”
“It wasn’t about beating Penn State, it was about Temple winning. It was a special moment,” he added.
written by alexis rogers
photographed by jenny kerrigan