YSU takes field in first major scrimmage of fall

YSU football

The Youngstown State football team spent nearly two hours scrimmaging on Saturday morning at Stambaugh Stadium. The offense scored a handful of touchdowns while the defense was able to pick up some key stops during the session.

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The first session of the workout had the offense pinned at their one-yard line. On the first play of the scrimmage, the top unit came out firing as Kurt Hess hit Michael Wheary for a 22-yard gain. Facing a third-and-8 on the next set of downs, Dante Nania found wide receiver Jelani Berassa at the 10 and then did the rest finishing up an impressive 97-yard scoring play.

Torrian Pace, Martin Ruiz and Hess each had first down rushes – including a nifty 19-yard option keeper by the quarterback – while Tanner Garry connected with Berassa for an eight-yard pickup.

On the first drives sequence, Hess marched the No. 1 offense 70 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. On 2nd-and-8 from the 13, Hess connected with Carson Sharbaugh for a touchdown. The offense faced a 3rd-and-17 at one point during the opening drive, but Hess found Wheary for a 30-yard gain.

The next time out, the offense had a 14-play possession. Garry led the second-team offense to the 24-yard line, but on 4th-and-1 his fumbled pitch was recovered by Ali Cheaib who scooped the toss-up and could have scored a touchdown. On the drive, Garry completed 5-of-7 passes, three of which went to tailbacks.

The defense stiffened after a quick first down on the next set of downs. The offense had to settle for two straight three-and-outs.

Nick Wargo completed a 19-yard toss to Kevin Watts before Hess returned for a nine-play drive that reached the defense’s 26-yard line.

In the red-zone segment, the offense scored three touchdowns on eight tries. On third-and-goal, Pace found some daylight on the left side for a two-yard touchdown. The defense kept the offense off the board with three quick stops.

On the first play of the next drive, Ruiz found some space and took it to the end zone from 20 yards out. The defense had two stops before Ryan Mosora scored on a two-yard run.

In the first portion of the scrimmage, Hess completed 8-of-12 passes for 121 yards while Garry was 8-of-11 for 58. Pace had 13 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown while Ruiz had 10 carries for 34 yards. Mosora had seven attempts for 31 yards and a touchdown.

In the third-and-short segment the first team offense was stopped four straight times. The only successful try for the second-team unit was when Dante Nania found Andrew Williams on a 70-yard scoring pass.

On third-and-medium plays, the first team offense converted from five, seven and nine yards on the first run through. Nania completed passes the next sequence for first downs on distances of five and nine yards.

Leading the defense was Cheaib who had seven tackles while Vince Coleman had four tackles, all of which were sacks. The quarterbacks wore black jerseys and could not be tackled. Jaylin Kelly and Cole Kochman had six tackles each leading the reserve units.

The Penguins had reps on kickoff coverages, kickoff returns, punt coverages and punt returns interspersed throughout the scrimmage.

YSU will take Sunday off before returning for two practices on Monday.

Courtesy: YSU Sports Information

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