Penguins Drop Season Finale At Illinois State

LB Armand Dellovade
LB Armand Dellovade

Normal, Ill. - The Youngstown State football team suffered a tough 35-28 setback to Illinois State on a cool and rainy Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium.

The Penguins (4-7 and 3-5) took a 28-21 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Redbirds scored on a pair of touchdown runs for the victory.

YSU trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before rallying to get within 14-13 at halftime.

Illinois State took a 21-13 lead midway through the third quarter on a seven-yard run by James Robinson.

But the YSU offense found a spark and put together back-to-back scoring drives to take a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter.

Nathan Mays found Ryan Emans on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 1:21 left in the third quarter. On the two-point conversion, Mays flipped the ball to Natavious Payne who raced around the left side to tie the game at 21.

On YSU's next possession, Mays found a wide open Miles Joiner who raced down the middle of the field for a 58-yard touchdown with 13:12 left in the game.

However, Illinois State answered right back to tie the contest at 28 moving 82 yards in just four plays as Kevin Brown found the end zone from 16 yards with 11:06 left. Brown's second touchdown of the period came with 5:47 remaining in the contest and proved to be the game winner.

In the contest, senior linebacker Armand Dellovade was credit with 11 tackles and finished with 102 for the year. Senior tailback Tevin McCaster carried 33 times for 142 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Penguins.

Robinson was impressive for the Redbirds rushing for 256 yards on 23 carries and had two scores while Brown had 13 rushes for 41 yards.