Brookings, S.D. – The 12th-ranked Youngstown State football team allowed No. 7 South Dakota State to score twice in the first four minutes and the Penguins ran out of time before gaining some momentum in a 24-10 defeat on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykehouse Stadium.
Five plays into the game, SDSU went ahead when Brady Mengarelli scored on two-yard touchdown run. It was the first rushing score allowed by the Penguins this season.
On their ensuing possession, QB Ricky Davis was intercepted by Christian Rozeboom and the subsequent return to the YSU four-yard line set up a one-play score. On the first snap, Taryrn Christion found Connor Landberg for a four-yard touchdown just 4:48 into the contest as YSU trailed 14-0.
A 28-yard field goal by Zak Kennedy cut the deficit to 14-3 with 5:49 left in the first quarter but that would be the lone points the Penguins could muster in the first half. Late in the second quarter, Chase Vinatieri connected on a short 20-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to make it a two-touchdown contests.
The Guins trailed 17-3 at halftime despite running 10 more plays and having more than four-and-a-half minutes of possession time.
SDSU took a 24-3 lead with 10:50 remaining in the third quarter following a three-yard TD pass from Christion to All-American Jake Wieneke. The scoring play came five plays following a Jody Webb fumble that was recovered at the YSU 42-yard line.
YSU finished with 311 total offensive yards while SDSU had 356. Martin Ruiz led the Penguins with 50 yards rushing on 11 carries.
The Penguins (5-2 overall and 3-1 in the MVFC) had two key turnovers that directly contributed to SDSU scores as the Jackrabbits (5-2, 4-0) won the contest that was for sole possession of first place in the conference.
YSU returns home next Saturday to take on Indiana State. Kickoff for the Homecoming contest against the Sycamores is set for 4 p.m.