Vemillion, S.D. – Junior tailback Tevin McCaster scored four touchdowns, but the third-ranked Youngstown State football team suffered a disappointing 31-28 loss to No. 6 South Dakota on Saturday afternoon.
The Penguins (3-2 overall and 1-1 in the MVFC) trailed 28-14 early in the third quarter before fighting back to tie the ball game in the fourth quarter. However, South Dakota (5-0 and 2-0) had one final drive to win the game and with seven second remaining, Ryan Weese kicked a 29-yard field goal for the decisive score.
After trailing 21-14 at halftime, YSU found itself in a 28-14 hole just 2:12 into the third quarter as South Dakota scored on a 71-yard pass from Steve Streveler to Shamar Jackson.
After the YSU defense stopped USD on downs, the Guins crept within 28-21 on an 11-yard scoring run by McCaster with 3:56 remaining in the third period.
In the fourth quarter, the Penguins took over at their 20-yard line with 10:12 remaining. In impressive fashion, YSU covered the 80 yards in 15 plays as McCaster's touchdown run from three-yards out with 3:49 remaining tied the score.
Each team punted before USD regained possession with 1:24 left at its 47. The Coyotes moved 41 yards in eight plays as Weese kicked his field goal for the win.
McCaster finished with 90 yards on 23 carries and had four scores while Mays completed 12-of-25 passes for 153 yards. Steve Streveler led USD with 260 yards passing completing 21-of-35 attempts while rushing for 48 on 16 carries. Jackson finished with 229 yards receiving on 11 catches.
YSU took its opening drive of the game and scored a touchdown to grab a 7-0 advantage. McCaster scored on a nine-yard run capping an eight-play, 86-yard drive with 9:38 left in the quarter.
USD tied the game on a 15-yard pass from Streveler to Randy Baker as the Coyotes drove eight plays, 88 yards in 2:07.
The Coyotes took the lead with 8:04 left in the second quarter. On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Kai Henry used a second-effort to spin in for the score as USD took its first lead of the game at 14-7.
McCaster's second touchdown of the game tied the contest at 14 with 4:38 left in the second quarter. YSU marched 75 yards on seven plays as McCaster plunged in from three yards out tying the ballgame.
USD answered right back to regain the lead at 21-14 on a 22-yard pass from Streveler to Brandt Van Roekel with just two minutes left in the first half.
In the first half, USD had 283 yards of total offense in the first half while YSU finished with 183. A week after holding South Dakota State to just 37 plays for an entire game, the Penguins' defense was on the field for 45 plays in the first half.
The Penguins take on second-ranked North Dakota State next Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium. Kickoff for the contest against the Bison is set for 7 p.m.