After a big upset two weeks ago and keeping their playoff hopes alive, it was time for the Penguins and coach Doug Phillips to rest up during their bye week and prepare for another big time road matchup. This time, against Indiana State at Memorial Stadium, a team they lost to at the same place just two seasons ago 24-17. It did not go the way YSU hope as the Penguins fall to the Sycamores 28-17.
The Sycamores were one of the few teams that opted out during the Spring season. Indiana State was coming off of a tough loss to the Missouri State Bears last Saturday 37-7 and were in need of a turn around to head back to a .500 record with coach Curt Mallory.
After a few pass completions by ISU quarterback Anthony Thompson, he decided to use his feet next, taking it in from six-yards out making it an early 7 to 0 lead in the first quarter.
With it still being early, Youngstown State had a runner of its own making an impact. Jaleel McLaughlin rushed for a 31-yard pickup, and then a few plays later, broke free again from 21-yards out. The Colten McFadden PAT tied it at seven.
However, that’s when the ground momentum from McLaughlin and his quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw came to an abrupt end. Crenshaw was taken to the medical tent and the locker room after suffering a lower body injury and was unable to return. It was time for fifth year senior Joe Craycraft to step up back at Memorial Stadium.
The last play of the first quarter was Thompson finding tight end Zach Larkin for a 33-yard pickup, but the quarter ended with the two teams still tied at seven.
Indiana State opened the second quarter with a three play drive resulting in running back Peterson Kerlegrand taking it in two-yards out making it 14 to 7.
The Penguins made a big play on defense however when Indiana State was driving again. Thompson’s pass was picked off by Grant Dixon who was playing with one healthy hand, wearing a club-like cast on the other.
The offense stalled for a few possessions with Youngstown State scoring before the end of the half when Craycraft found Kentucky transfer Bryce Oliver in the back of the endzone 14-yards out for the touchdown, tying it all at 14 going into the half.
Youngstown State took six minutes off the clock in the start of the third quarter as they started to drive down the field led by Craycraft and McLaughlin. However, they would have to settle for three after a dropped pass in the end zone by Andrew Olgatree. The score was now 17-14 but the momentum soon changed.
Indiana State’s last play in the third would be a one yard run, but now they were driving at the Penguins 12-yard line. With the third coming to an end, both teams were in the huddle on how to stop the others grind.
That set up for a Thompson quarterback rushing touchdown from 12-yards out making it 21-17.
On YSUs next possession it got worse as Craycraft threw an interception right to Ethan Hoover. After that, it was the nail in the coffin as Thompson gave the ball to Kerlegrad who took it 53-yards to the end zone making the score now 28-17.
The Penguins did have two more chances, but on both possessions, Craycraft threw two costly interceptions ending the game with the final score of 28-17 and there’s going to be talk for next week if Crenshaw will be able to play because of the injury he sustained early on.
With this loss, Youngstown State is still winless on the road with their last road win being in 2017. (Not counting the Guardian FCS Kickoff in 2019 since that was a neutral site).
Joey Craycraft: 13-31 one touchdown four interceptions for 172 yards
Demeatric Crenshaw: one of three for three yards (left game in first quarter).
Jaleel McLaughlin: 17 Carries for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Bryce Oliver: five receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Grant Dixon: interception
Anthony Thompson: 13-21 for 156 yards, one interception, no touchdowns. Rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.
Preston Kerlegrand: 25 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
Zach Larkin: five receptions for 65 yards
Dante Hendrix: three receptions for 49 yards
JJ Henderson: two interceptions
Ethan Hoover and Omar Jackson: both with one interception.
Youngstown State (2-4, 1-3 in MVFC play) will head back to the Stambaugh Stadium (Ice Castle) to host the sixth ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits (5-2, 2-2 in conference play). Kickoff is at 2:00 on ESPN PLUS or listened on News Radio 570WKBN.
Indiana State (4-4,2-3 in MVFC play) will head to the FargoDome where they look to upset the Alabama of the FCS in the third ranked North Dakota State Bison (7-0, 4-0 in conference play). Kickoff is at 3:30 on ESPN PLUS or WDAY Channel 6.