Defense Stymies Offense in First Major Scrimmage of the Fall

YSU Football practice
YSU Football practice

The Youngstown State defense took an impressive step forward with a strong and consistent performance against the offense during the first major scrimmage of the fall on Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium.

The defense held the offense in check allowing one touchdown during a red-zone situation and another on a long run during a four-minute drill.

During the drive sequences, the defense allowed just two plays of more than 10 yards. One of those plays resulted in a takeaway for the defense. 

The scrimmage started with the offense coming out of their own end zone in a 10-play sequence. After Christian Bryan had a nine-yard reception, the defense stopped the offense on two short-yardage plays. On the next two sets of downs, the defense held the offense to two three-and-outs. Tailback Adaris Bellamy went around the right end for 21 yards on the final play.

In the drive portion of the scrimmage, the defense dominated the offense at times. Parnell Taylor dropped a for-sure pick-six on a Kurt Hess swing pass out of the back field. Teven Williams had a hurry on a second-and-10 play, Dubem Nwadiogbu and Chuck Lengyel each had sacks of Patrick Angle and Aronde Stanton threw Torrian Pace for a two-yard loss.

The defense made two big plays on consecutive snaps. First, Dale Peterman intercepted a Hess overthrow and returned it 50 yards on second-and-12 play. Then, Marcel Caver was stripped of the football by Quamane Bryant and Jameel Smith recovered it.

The Penguins then worked on red-zone sequences. In the seven sets, the offense kicked four field goals, scored one touchdown and play was stopped twice. David Brown converted a 29-yard field goal on the first possession and followed with a 21-yard on the second chance.

After the defense held, Hess threw a 20-yard scoring pass to tight end Will Shaw. Brown kicked another 21-yard field goal and followed by making a 31-yard boot. The defense stopped the offense in the final possession.

To conclude the scrimmage, YSU worked on third and fourth and short plays as well as two-minute and four-minute offenses. In the two-minute offense drill, the was strong as both possessions went four plays and gained no yards. The first team threw three incomplete passes and Hess was sacked on fourth down. The second team was in a hole following a second-down sack and Angle's final two passes feel incomplete.

The offense ended with some positive momentum running out the clock during the four-minute drill. The first team converted a key third-and-9 with just over three minutes left then picked up a first down before taking the victory formation. The second team scored a touchdown as Lawrence Hughes went around the left side, kept his balance by putting his hand down, then raced down the sideline for a touchdown.

During the scrimmage the offense was without wide receivers Jelani Berassa and Kevin Watts, tailback Demond Hymes and offensive linemen Andrew Radakovich and Fred Herdman. Tailback Jamaine Cook carried the ball just four times during the workout.

Hess was 9-of-15 for 75 yards and had one touchdown and one interception while Angle completed 6-of-10 for 44 yards. Bellamy had nine carries for 41 yards and Torrian Pace had nine totes for 19 yards.

On defense, Julius Childs had seven tackles while Jeremey Edwards had five.

YSU returns to practice on Monday with two sessions. The first is set for 8 a.m. with the second at 5 p.m.

Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are on sale now by calling the YSU Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1978.

UPCOMING PRACTICES (All scheduled for Stambaugh Stadium and subject to change)

Monday, August 13 - 8 a.m./ 5 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14 - 10 a.m.
Wednesday, August 15 - 8 a.m./5 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 - 10 a.m.
Friday, August 17 - 10 a.m.
Saturday, August 18 - 10 a.m. (SCRIMMAGE)
Monday, August 20 - 10 a.m.
Tuesday, August 21 - 10 a.m.