Lance Austin’s unusual connnection with Penn State return for touchdown

Georgia Tech defensive back Lance Austin (17) is celebrated by twin brother and defensive back Lawrence Austin after he scored a touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Georgia Tech won 22 - 16 over Florida State. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

On nearly the one-year anniversary that Georgia Tech safety Lance Austin stunned Florida State by returning a blocked field-goal attempt for a touchdown with no time remaining, Penn State shocked No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in the same manner. Even more coincidentally, Austin is friends with the Nittany Lions player who scored the touchdown, Lovett School graduate Grant Haley.

Austin and Haley were roommates at the Rising Senior Bowl, the Atlanta-based all-star game for Georgia high school players, in December 2012. The two met again in the 2013 Georgia high school state playoffs, with Lovett beating Austin’s Lamar County High for the Class AA state title.

“I hit him up on Twitter,” Austin said of his communication with Haley after his stunning score. “Nothing really too much.”

Austin’s own anniversary of the “Miracle on Techwood Drive,” as the play has come to be known, passed by uneventfully. Austin was unaware of the day’s significance until someone informed him early in the day.

“I got a couple (social media) mentions,” he said. “Jamal (Golden) tapped me on Instagram, so it was pretty cool.”

Austin said that the play has not changed his life significantly, beyond being a little more well-known.

“I’m not really trying to dwell on the past,” he said. “I’m trying to make sure we get this next win.”

Tech plays Duke on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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