Penguins Fall On Final Play at Indiana State

Jody Webb returned two kickoffs for TDs against Indiana State.
Jody Webb returned two kickoffs for TDs against Indiana State.

Terre Haute, Ind. - The Youngstown State football team lost 27-24 at Indiana State on a snowy and cold afternoon at Memorial Stadium. ISU's Eric Heidorn kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give the Sycamores the victory.

YSU (5-6 overall and 3-5 in the MVFC) did not trail until the final outcome and led at four separate times during the game - three in the first half and once in the fourth quarter. But Indiana State (5-6 and 3-5) hung around and Heidorn's second field goal of the final five-plus minutes was the game-winner.

In the fourth quarter, freshman PK Zak Kennedy kicked a 25-yard field goal, his 19th of the season, to give the Guins a 24-21 lead, its fourth advantage of the game. However, once again the Sycamores tied the contest with a 25-yard field goal of their own. With 5:04 left, Eric Heidorm converted a 25-yarder to knot the game at 24.

On YSU's next possession, the Guins went three-and-out and ISU took over at it's 45-yard line. The Sycamores moved to the YSU 20-yard line in 10 plays to setup Heidorn's attempt at the winner. Heidorn, who won the game at YSU last year with an overtime kick, drilled it through the uprights to hand the Penguins another heartbreaking defeat.

The Penguins opened the game when Jody Webb somehow kept his footing to return the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. Webb ran towards the cleared hashmarks then bounced it around the left side and outran the Sycamores down the sidelines for the touchdown just 15 seconds into the game.

It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by the Penguins since Dominique Barnes scored on a short 37-yard return against Missouri State in September 2007.

The Sycamores' Alex Stowers tied the contest later in the period when Wells and Ruiz couldn't connect on a handoff. Stowers picked up the ball at the YSU 37 and raced untouched for a score to tie the contest at seven with 5:25 left in the period.

YSU answered on its ensuing possession moving 75 yards in seven plays as Webb found the end zone for the second time scoing on a 26-yard run as the Penguins went back ahead 14-7.

In the second quarter, Adam avoided a sack by Emmanuel Kromah and ran 14 yards around the left side for an ISU touchdown to tie the contest at 14 with 6:41 left in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Webb was at it again. After the kick was touched by the Penguins, Webb gathered the ball at the seven and found a hole in the coverage before finding room around the right side. He raced 93 yards again for his second kickoff return score of the game with 6:22 left in the half. 

Webb is just the second player in Missouri Valley Football Conference history to return two kickoffs for scores joining WIU's Rory Lee who accomplished the feat in 1993.

But just three plays later, Adam turned in another big play calling his own number to score on a 74-yard run with 4:37 left in the second quarter.

YSU finished with 226 yards of total offense while Indiana State had 314.