Quinn Epperly, left, a third-grader at Cridersville Elementary School poses for a photo with another Quinn Epperly, a quarterback at Princeton University.
The young Quinn Epperly
mother, DeLynn, attended a Princeton football game in Princeton, N.J., last month. (Provided photo/DeLynn Epperly)
Yet, it happened recently for a local boy - Quinn Epperly
- and the unusual coincidence sparked an arranged meeting at a football game in New Jersey last month.
Last fall Quinn's father, Jim, watching CNN
on television saw the name Quinn Epperly
featured for breaking an NCAA record by completing 29 consecutive passes, set in 2013 during a game against Cornell University
"We were just really surprised because we thought we had chosen a name that was different or unique," said Quinn's mother, DeLynn.
"When we saw another Quinn Epperly
make national headlines, we were surprised."
(To avoid confusion, for the remainder of the article, local Quinn Epperly will be referred to as "Quinn", and Quinn Epperly, the Princeton quarterback, will be referred to as "Epperly.")
After seeing Epperly
's name featured on television, DeLynn essentially prodded her
son - who is a third-grader at Cridersville Elementary School
- to reach out to the Princeton
quarterback, so Quinn
colored a picture and painted a football, sending those along with a school photo to Epperly at Princeton to congratulate him for setting the NCAA record.
In the mailing containing Quinn's things, his
family requested Epperly
to send something in return, such as an autographed photo or football.
For months the local family did not hear back from Epperly
Finally, in March of this year, a letter came back from the quarterback.
explained how the mailing address DeLynn used was not the mailing address he
normally collected mail from, apologizing for the bit of confusion.
Along with the letter, Epperly
sent an autographed picture and a Princeton wristband.
Elsewhere in the letter from Epperly
invited the locals to a future Princeton football game, saying he
would ensure tickets would be saved for them.
After much thought, this past summer DeLynn contacted Epperly
, indicating she
planned to come to a game sometime this season.
DeLynn exchanged contact information with Epperly
family, who are from Knoxville, Tenn.
Marking Quinn's first time flying in an airplane, the two traveled to Princeton, N.J., which is located about halfway between New York City and Philadelphia.
did not play in that game, however, as missing it with a turf toe injury.
During the game, Quinn
and DeLynn sat with the quarterback's family - his
mother, Kathy, and sister, Ashley.
In conversation, the two families determined they are related but they still aren't sure how, concluding the family tree is not quite complete in certain spots.
Also during the game, a Princeton staff member invited Quinn
and DeLynn to be on the sidelines for the final two minutes.
When the game ended, Quinn
was invited to go into the Princeton locker room, but he
didn't want to leave his
eventually emerged from the locker room and met with Quinn
and DeLynn for about 15 minutes.
Almost three weeks later now, DeLynn said Quinn
- who is on the autism spectrum - "doesn't understand the magnitude of what happened," but he
sees photos from the trip after the fact and recognizes he
is in them.
"My husband and I are both in education," DeLynn said.
"I really looked at it as an opportunity for (Quinn) to do a lot of things he
needs to work on."
went on to win the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year award last year during his
This year the Tigers are 4-3 overall.
, who has played in only five of the seven games, leads the team in rushing touchdowns with eight.