Penguins Use Complete Effort to Take Down Red Flash, 48-3

Jody Webb (photo by Ron Stevens)
Jody Webb (photo by Ron Stevens)

Youngstown, Ohio – The 16th-ranked Youngstown State football team scored on its first eight possessions and accumulated 471 total yards en route to a 48-3 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on rainy and windy Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium. 

The Penguins improve to 2-1 while the Red Flash fall to 1-2.

Youngstown State allowed just 87 total yards on 45 snaps and held the Red Flash to just 10 yards through the air. The defense also held preseason All-American Khairi Dickson to just five yards on three carries. SFU's Marcus Bagley had 66 of the Red Flash's 87 yards, all on the ground.

Junior tailback Martin Ruiz rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries and moved into eighth place on YSU's all-time rushing list with 2,639 career yards. He also caught three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore Hunter Wells completed 10-of-16 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while junior Jody Webb ran for 93 yards on 13 carries and scored twice from 22 and 20 yards, respectively.

The Penguins scored on all six possessions of the first half. After a Zak Kennedy 22-yard field goal, the Penguins scored five touchdowns on their next five possessions. The defense allowed just three first downs, 43 total yards and forced six punts in the first half.

Shane Kuhn scored the first two touchdowns of his career, a pair of rushing scores from one and six yards to give the Penguins leads of 17-0 and 38-0.

Webb scored the Penguins' first touchdown of the game on a 22-yard scamper with 7:21 left in the first quarter. Jameel Smith returned a punt 39 yards to the YSU 44, and after a pass interference penalty, I'tavious Harvin rushed for 11 yards and Wells hit Andrew Williams for an 11-yard gain to the SFU 22.

Kuhn's first touchdown came at the 2:28 mark of the first quarter after Wells connected with Ruiz on a pair of completions for 16 and 15 yards to set up the score.

To start the second quarter, the Penguins used a steady diet of Webb and Ruiz to push the lead to 24-0. Webb and Ruiz combined for eight straight rushes for 62 yards, and the drive was capped by Webb's 20-yard touchdown run at the 11:02 mark of the second quarter.

After forcing the Red Flash into their fifth straight punt, Ruiz rushed for three times for 15 yards and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Wells with 7:10 left in the second quarter to take a 31-0 lead.

On the next possession, Wells connected with Harvin for 54 yards to the SFU 27-yard line. Webb carried three times for 21 yards to set up Kuhn's second touchdown run of the game from six yards out.

Kennedy added his second 22-yard field goal to cap an 18-play, 70-yard drive to open the second half and extend the lead to 41-0 with 5:52 left in the third quarter.

The Penguins boosted their lead to 48-0 on a Ricky Davis four-yard touchdown with 1:23 left in the third. It was the first touchdown of Davis' YSU career.

Saint Francis' Lance Geesey converted a 42-yard field goal with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter to stave off the shutout.

The Penguins are idle next week and open Missouri Valley Football Conference play against South Dakota, Saturday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m. in Vermillion, S.D.