The 2021 FCS College Football season has not been a strong point for the Youngstown State Penguins. Following an upset 41-33 victory back in week five against Missouri State, the Penguins have shown fight but were unable to finish games. Part of which coming from last week after a 21-10 collapse against the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota. This week, YSU was taking on another team from North Dakota. This time, it was the fourth ranked Bison of North Dakota State on senior day, in hopes of getting an upset and the last win at Stambaugh Stadium, for the senior class. Once again, they came up short as the Penguins fall to ND State, 49-17.
North Dakota States’ offense is different when it comes to play calling. While many teams want to throw the ball aggressively down field, the Bison run the ball to burn time on the clock. They did this in the first quarter against the Penguins, with the only score being a Hunter Luepke 49-yard touchdown making it an early 7 to 0 lead, with YSU not making much progress on their offensive possession, forcing to punt.
This quarter had reminiscence of the first as it was time management and tiring out the Penguins defense. North Dakota State scored within the first couple minutes of the second quarter TaMerik Williams scored a one-yard touchdown making it 14 to 0. Youngstown State got their first points on the board with a 44-yard field goal by Colten McFadden making it 14 to 3.
On the Bison’s next possession, it was quarterback Cam Miller finding Christian Watson for a 71-yard bomb, beating the cornerbacks and safeties making it 21 to 3. Now the YSU defense did make a good stop before the half with tackles from Grant Dixon, and James Jackson. North Dakota State then missed a 48-yard field goal by Jake Reinholz with the score being 21 to 3 at the half. Still 30 minutes of football remained and YSU was not going to back down.
However, while not backing down and getting the passing game going would be the key, the Penguins gave up two touchdowns for the Bison. North Dakota State’s first was a Williams 50-yard touchdown as he blasted through the wide open hole. The second was Miller going to the end zone from a yard out finding Noah Gindorff.
For the Penguins meanwhile, freshman Demeatric Crenshaw hurt the same ankle that he sprained against Indiana State just a few weeks ago. Former Salem Quaker Mitch Davidson came into the game and while throwing a pick early on his first drive in the third, Davidson did bounce back with a two-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone for Bryce Oliver making it 35 to 10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Davidson had a good drive going but his day abruptly ended after he got injured during an offensive possession. In his last home game, Joe Craycraft would come into the game. Craycraft could not keep the ball rolling along with Jaleel McLaughlin and Christian Turner who was also playing in his final game at Stambaugh Stadium.
TK Marshall put the game on ice for the Bison with an 84-yard touchdown run along with Jalen Bussey. YSU gave Liberty graduate Dra Rushton the ball a few times before the clock hit triple zeros making the final 49-17 at Stambaugh Stadium, Dike Beedee Field.
Jaleel McLaughlin: 11 carries for 52 yards
Christian Turner: six carries for 19 yards
Demeatric Crenshaw: five of eight for 56 yards, eight carries for 14 yards.
Mitch Davidson: 10 of 22 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and one interception
Joe Craycraft: two of three for seven yards
Bryce Oliver: five catches for 39 yards and two touchdowns.
Andrew Ogletree: five catches for 70 yards
CJ Charleston: three catches for 67 yards
TK Marshall: three carries for 146 yards and a touchdown.
TaMerik Williams: 18 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Jalen Bussey: five carries for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Hunter Luepke: four carries for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Cam Miller: 10 of 14 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Rushed for 35 yards on six carries.
Christian Watson: four receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Noah Gindorff: two receptions for six yards and a touchdown.
Youngstown State (2-7, 1-6 in MVFC) will head to Saluki Stadium for its regular season finale to face the 17th ranked Southern Illinois Salukis. Kickoff is at 1pm on ESPN Plus or can be listened to on News Radio 570WKBN Youngstown. The Penguins look to end the season on a strong note and get ready for the 2022 spring game and off-season.
North Dakota State (9-1, 6-1 in MVFC) will host South Dakota Coyotes (7-3, 5-2 in MVFC) who are coming off of a last second Hail Mary 23-20 upset victory against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Kickoff is set for 3pm on ESPN Plus or on WDAY channel six in Fargo. The Bison are already a lock for the FCS playoffs but look to stay in a higher seed.