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Football: Kingsmen beat No. 1 Valparaiso

Penn High’s Football team stormed back in the second half to punch Class 5-A No. 1 and defending state champion Valparaiso, 38-21, in the 2023 season opener on Friday, Aug. 20.

Valparaiso led the visiting Kingsmen 14-12 at halftime.

Penn re-focused and battled back in the second half, outscoring Valparaiso 26-7.

Quarterback Nolan McCullough scored three touchdowns on runs of 30, 80 and 15 yards. He gained 187 yards on 15 carries.

McCullough was also 8-12-1 passing for 215 yards.

Jake Balis scored on TD runs of 80, five and seven yards. Balis gained 114 yards on 15 carries.

Ryan O’Connell and Vincent Horner each picked off passes in the second half for the Kingsmen. Horner sprinted for a 24-yard return, and O’Connell returned his pick three yards.

Camden Anderson turned in a thrilling 38-yard punt return for Penn.


TD – Nolan McCullough 30 run (PAT failed)

TD – Jake Balis 80 run (PAT failed)

TD – Jake Balis 5 run (PAT failed)

TD – Nolan McCullough 80 run (Dylan DeDario kick)

TD – Nolan McCullough 11 run (Dylan DeDario kick)

TD – Jake Balis 7 run (PAT failed)

Valpo scoring:

TD – Justin Clark 3 run (Drayden Wilcox kick)

TD – Scotty Bradney 35 pass from Clark (Drayden Wilcox kick)

TD – Julian Stokes pass from Clark (Drayden Wilcox kick)


Penn                     Valpo

First downs                        15                          13

Passing                                8-12-1                  5-12-2

Yards passing                    215                       134

Yards rushing                    301                       124

Fumbles lost                      0                            0

Punts                                   5-32                      6-32


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