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Mob of Penn State students riot to celebrate top ranking

October 13, 1997

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ After the clock ran out on LSU’s 28-21 win over then-No. 1 Florida, thousands of Penn State fans headed toward Beaver Stadium with one thing on their minds: the goalposts.

``We’re No. 1!″ they chanted. Florida’s loss and Penn State’s 31-27 victory over Ohio State Saturday assured a No. 1 ranking for the Nittany Lions. That set off nearly two hours of rioting during which bottles were thrown at cars and police.

Police officers armed with bullhorns warned fans that they would be arrested if they broke into the stadium. Three students tried, and were sprayed with pepper.

The revelers _ police estimated the number at 3,000 _ finally swept over to the practice fields and tore down a goalpost and tossed it in the flower gardens. Others overturned three 14-foot-long trailers used by the Penn State Bookstore to sell school memorabilia at games.

``At first it was fun, but then it got ugly,″ freshman Marc Wasserman said.

The three students who tried to break into the stadium probably will be charged with trespassing, police said. Nobody else was arrested.

No one was injured.

``There’s no problem with people getting together and celebrating, but it’s when property gets destroyed and people are endangering themselves and others that it gets sad,″ Penn State officer Randy Hoffman said.

``That’s not what Penn State pride is all about.″

Also Saturday, police arrested three Bronx, N.Y., men for selling hundreds of counterfeit tickets. Calvin Harris, Dornelle Washington and Michael Lewis were charged with forgery and criminal conspiracy.

Two others, Kareenn Ali Morefield and Augie Wallace, both of Philadelphia, were arrested in a separate counterfeiting venture.

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