YSU stifled by Jackrabbits

The Penguins failed to score a touchdown in a 38-8 loss to South Dakota State Saturday.

Youngstown, OH (WKBN) – Junior Derek Rivers broke the Youngstown State career sacks record with 23, but the Penguins dropped a 38-8 decision to Missouri Valley Football Conference foe South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium.

With the loss, the Penguins fall to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the MVFC while the Jackrabbits improve to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the MVFC.

Rivers, who had a pair of sacks and has six on the year, broke a 20-year mark set by former YSU All-American Jermaine Hopkins from 1992-95.

The Penguins could never find their rhythm offensively gaining just 278 total yards and rushing for just 125 yards on 30 carries.

Senior Andre Stubbs led the Penguins with 51 yards rushing and had 92 all-purpose yards.

Sophomore Hunter Wells was 18-for-39 with 153 yards through the air with an interception.

Lee Wright led the Penguins defensively with nine tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack.

South Dakota State’s Kyle Paris ran for 128 yards on 27 carries and scored a two touchdowns while quarterback Taryn Christion passed for 122 yards and ran for another 75. Christion also had a rushing and a passing touchdown against the Penguins defense.

South Dakota State outgained the Penguins, 334-278, and ran for 212 yards on 46 carries.

Youngstown State fumbled the opening kickoff and SDSU recovered at the Penguins’ 27-yard line. Two plays later Brady Mengarelli scored from four-yards out to a 7-0 lead with 14:19 left in the first.

The Penguins were forced to punt on their first possession, but Nick Sheely pinned the Jackrabbits at their own two-yard line. On SDSU’s first play, Nate Dortch stuffed Mengarelli in the endzone for a safety and YSU cut the deficit to 7-2.

After the free kick, the Penguins marched to the SDSU 27, but failed to convert a fourth-and-three.

After the team’s traded punts, the Jackrabbits drove 54 yards in 11 plays that resulted in Jay Carlson a 37-yard field goal put SDSU up 10-2 with 12:53 left in the second.

Two plays after the Carlson field goal, JeRyan Butler intercepted Wells at the SDSU 48, which led to a 20-yard touchdown run by Paris and gave the Jackrabbits a 17-2 lead with 10:42 left before halftime.

Zak Kennedy booted a 23-yard field goal as time expired to cut the Jackrabbits’ lead to 17-5 at the half.

Kennedy added his second field goal of the game, a 40-yarder, to get the Penguins within 17-8 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, SDSU’s Trevor Wesley returned the kickoff 81 yards to the YSU seven. Two plays later, Paris barreled in from four yards out to extend the Jackrabbits’ lead to 24-8 with 4:21 left in the third.

After forcing a Penguins’ three-and-out, Christion busted loose for a 70-yard touchdown run to push the Jackrabbits’ lead to 31-8 with 11:59 left in the game.

The Jackrabbits extended their lead to 30 points, 38-8, with an eight-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Christion to Brandon Andrews with 5:43 left in the game.

The Penguins visit Southern Illinois, Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in Carbondale, Ill.

Courtesy: YSU Sports Information

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