KJ Hamler got tired of taking a knee and may have saved Penn State's season because of it
Appalachian State is no joke. The Michigan Wolverines found that out years ago at The Big House and the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions almost joined them in infamy on Saturday against the Mountaineers.
App State gave the Nittany Lions all they could handle and more, fighting PSU until overtime where an interception kept James Franklin and company off the upset list.
For a while, things looked shaky for Penn State. Sure, Trace McSorley was great as usual and Miles Sanders added in two touchdowns, including the game-winner, but PSU had a 24-10 lead with just over two minutes left in the third quarter and allowed Appalachian State to come all the way back, tying the game at 31 with six minutes to go in the fourth.
The Mountaineers’ Jalin Moore then proceeded to give Penn State a real scare when he scampered for a 16-yard touchdown with 1:47 to go.
Jalin Moore scores for #AppalachianState.
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Takes the lead on #PennState with 1:47 left. pic.twitter.com/BRNbo5Xbu9
— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) September 1, 2018
The upset seemed imminent, especially considering the nature of Moore’s run, but on the ensuing kick off KJ Hamler, a freshman, completely changed the game for the Nittany Lions. He perhaps even made the play that allowed PSU to eventually win it. Hamler took the return 65-yards to the Appalachian State 48, which ultimately allowed McSorely to tie it up on a great touchdown throw.
You guessed it, Hamler was the play-maker on that one as well.
It was a great story for Penn State, but the story behind the story may be just as good. App State was booming kicks all night which led to Hamler taking a knee in his own end zone multiple times.
That fateful time, though? The time he decided to forgo taking a knee to try to make something happen?
Well, that’s the time he took it 65-yards, and after the game he admitted that he was simply tired of kneeling the ball.
Were you tired of taking a knee?
So KJ Hamler started running and 52 yards later gave Penn State new life. pic.twitter.com/Jm5zIgGM9Y
— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) September 2, 2018
So yeah, Hamler didn’t follow the rules on this one. Doubt Franklin minded in the after-math, though.