Late punt return TD propels YSU to victory

Darien Townsend's 79-yard special teams TD proved to be the difference

The Penguins improve to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, following a 47-7 win over the Bears.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The YSU offense didn’t offer much on Saturday against Indiana State. However, the Penguins did get a boost from their special teams.

Darien Townsend returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and it proved to be the difference in a 13-10 YSU win at Stambaugh Stadium. With the victory, the Penguins improved to 6-2 (4-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference), while ISU fell 4-5 (2-4).

YSU trailed 10-6 at halftime — and that score held up until just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Townsend notched his punt return TD. From there, the Penguins defense didn’t budge, as it surrendered just 226 yards all game and forced three turnovers.

YSU was hindered by turnovers in the first half, as quarterback Hunter Wells — starting his first game of the season in place of injured QB Ricky Davis — tossed two interceptions. Still, he led YSU to a 31-yard Zak Kennedy field goal as time expired in the second quarter.

Kennedy also nailed a 23-yard field goal midway through the second for YSU’s first points.

Indiana State actually jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first. The Sycamores first made a 23-yard field goal, before Isaac Harker connected with Robert Tonyan for a 9-yard TD pass following a Wells interception.

Martin Ruiz lead YSU’s offense with 151 rush-yards on 22 carries, while Wells went 13 of 26 for 101 yards passing.

YSU travels to North Dakota State next Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. matchup with the Bison.

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