The third-ranked Youngstown State football team won their Gateway Football Conference opener on Saturday night at Stambaugh Stadium beating No. 6/7 Western Illinois 41-7.
P.J. Mays scored three first half touchdowns to give YSU (3-0 overall and 1-0 in the league) a 21-0 halftime lead. YSU built a 34-0 lead after a touchdown run by Jeff Ryan and a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown by LeVar Greene. After WIU's J.R. Niklos scored on a 21-yard pass from Sam Clemons, Colby Street scored on a 48-yard run to give YSU a 41-7 victory.
Mays scored his first touchdown following a Antulio Aroche block of a Mike Scifres punt. YSU took over at the six and three plays later Mays scored from the six. For his second score, Mays took a Ryan shovel pass 50 yards for a touchdown. Mays scored on a two-yard run just before halftime to give YSU a 21-0 halftime lead.
Mays rushed for 57 yards on 18 carries and for the game the Penguins finished with 187 yards rushing. Ryan completed 3-of-9 for 73 yards and a touchdown.
WIU's Sam Clemons completed 21-of-41 for 238 yards, a touchdown and had two interceptions. WIU had 302 total yards while the Penguins finished with 260.
YSU returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 29 when it travels to Northern Iowa.