Youngstown State outscored Maine 21-0 in the second half to overcome a one-point halftime deficit in a 34-14 victory over the Black Bears Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium.
Tom Zetts threw touchdown passes to T.J. Peterson and Louis Irizarry in the third quarter, and Monquantae Gibson scored late in the fourth as the Penguins held a 205 to 34 edge in second half offense.
Marcus Mason rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, and Peterson finished with 110 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Zetts passed for three touchdowns and threw for 178 yards to offset two interceptions.
YSU got into trouble early in the second half as Zetts was picked off by Daren Stone in Penguin territory on the first play from scrimmage. But the defense stood strong, knocking the Black Bears back five yards on back-to-back sacks from James Terry.
The Penguins took the ball and marched 71 yards on eight plays to take a 20-14 lead. Zetts hooked up with Peterson for a 28-yard gain down to the Maine 29 to set up a 16-yard scoring strike from the pair five plays later.
Zetts then found Irizarry from seven yards with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter out on the next possession to make the score 27-14.
Bob Perez picked off Ron Whitcomb with 6:40 remaining in the game to set up YSU's final score on Gibson's one-yard plunge.
YSU got on the board first with 3:06 remaining when Mason scored on a 13-yard rush. The Penguins took over with great field position thanks to a high snap over punter Kash Kiefer's head at the 13. Brian Palmer's point-after attempt was blocked after an illegal formation penalty nullified his make.
Maine took the lead on the first play on its ensuing possession when Arel Gordon outraced the secondary for a 75-yard score. Gordon finished with 139 yards on 15 carries, but the rest of Maine's rushes accounted for -15 yards.
Zetts hit Peterson for a 42-yard strike early in the second to put the Penguins up 13-7, but Maine scored with 25 seconds remaining on a 31-yard touchdown from Whitcomb to Manzi Pierre on fourth-and-11.
Jeremiah Wright finished with a game-high 12 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage.
The Penguins will travel to take on Penn State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.