Starters Shine as Penguins Hold Efficient Scrimmage

Donald D'Alesio
Donald D'Alesio

The Youngstown State football team held an efficient scrimmage on Saturday morning at Stambaugh Stadium. Head Coach Eric Wolford was pleased with the starting units, but YSU is still looking to solidify some back-up spots as spring ball continues.

The scrimmage was the ninth practice conducted by the Guins this spring. The workout started with 25 minutes of individual work, before the offense and defense clashed for just over an hour.

The offense started off strong in the coming-out senarios. Pinned at their one-yard line, quarterback Kurt Hess came out throwing finding Andrew Williams on a 12-yard pickup. After a Hess throw away, Demond Hymes picked up 15 yards on a nifty run.

With the ball back at the one-yard line, Torrian Pace busted loose for a 19-yard pickup and then Dante Nania found tight end Carson Sharbaugh for 12 yards. 

YSU then held seven red-zone situations with the offense scoring twice and the defense preventing a score on the other five occasions.

The first play of the red-zone sequence saw Hess toss a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marcel Caver. The defense held on the next four possessions, including a David Rivers fumble recover of a botched hand-off between Nick Wargo and Michael Wheary. On the next possession, Wargo and Wheary redeemed themselves by connecting on an 18-yard touchdown pass on a 3rd-and-8 play. The defense sacked Nania on the final play of the red-zone drill.

During the moving-the-ball segment, the defense had interceptions on two of the final three snaps. Donald D'Alesio intercepted a Kurt Hess on a third-and-long play and then Josh Garner snared a Nania pass and returned it 38 yards for a score.

The Guins first and second-team units worked on third-down situations for the next 10 plays. The first-team offense picked up a first down four of the five plays. Hess was sharp finding Kintrell Disher on a 20-yard pickup (third-and-1), Wheary on a 10-yard gain (third-and-7) and had a nice pitch-and-catch to Andrew Williams for a 53-yard gain (third-and-10).

The second-team offense picked up a pair of first downs. Zach Miller picked up two yards on third-and-1 and Wargo found Carson Sharbaugh for a 16-yard pick up.

During the four-minute offense segment, Hymes helped the offense run out the clock carrying five straight times. He had gains of six, 10 and 13 during his first three carries to help time melt off the clock. In the second four-minute drill, the defense stopped the drive when Dubem Nwadiogbu intercepted Nania.

YSU capped the scrimmage with a two-minute drill. Hess moved the offense down the field for a score finding Wheary on a 25-yard pass with 12 seconds left. Hess found Wheary for a 22-yard gain on the previous play.

Nwadiogbu had his second interception 

YSU returns to practice on Tuesday.