Davis Sparks Penguins to Impressive Win at Indiana State

Ricky Davis scores on TD run at Indiana State (Photo by Dr. Daryl Mincey)
Ricky Davis scores on TD run at Indiana State (Photo by Dr. Daryl Mincey)

Terre Haute, Ind. - Senior quarterback Ricky Davis passed for 349 yards while rushing for 98 more to lead the Youngstown State football team to an impressive 66-24 win over Indiana State on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute.

The win for the Penguins improves them to 4-5 on the season and 2-4 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Indiana State falls to 0-9 and 0-6.

Davis had touchdown passes of 64, 62 and 37 in the game while scoring on runs of 57 and one-yard. Other impressive performances on offense came from Damoun Patterson (143 yards receiving on five catches), Samuel St. Surin (two catches, 125 yards) and Tevin McCaster (22 carries, 71 yards).

Davis' 349 passing yards were the fourth most in a game in school history and was the highest passing total by a YSU quarterback since Jamie DeVore against Eastern Kentucky in 1983.

The first half featured 62 combined points, 615 yards of total offense, eight touchdowns and a pair of field goals. Four scores came on drives that lasted two plays or fewer.

The Penguins bolted out to a 28-point lead on two Ricky Davis rushing touchdowns, a fumble recovery by Alvin Bailey and a pass from Davis to Jermiah Braswell all in the first quarter.

YSU jumped out a to a quick 7-0 advantage as Davis scored on a keeper on just the the second offensive snap of the game for the Penguins offense. YSU's defense forced a three-and-out on the first series and a short punt gave it the ball at the 41-yard line. After McCaster picked up two yards on the first play, Davis faked a hand off and raced untouched 57 yards for the first score of the game.

The Penguins then forced a short punt to take over at the Indiana State 37-yard line. Seven plays later, Davis scored from a yard out as YSU went on top 14-0. On their ensuing possession, Bailey was Johnny-on-the-spot as Patterson was stripped of the ball at the two-yard line. Bailey scooped up the fumble and took it in to increase the Guins' lead to 21-0. Later in the quarter, Davis found Braswell for a 39-yard scoring toss. 

On the final play of the first quarter, the Sycamores scored on a 77-yard touchdown run by LeMonte Booker to cut the deficit to 28-7.

In the second quarter, PK Zak Kennedy kicked a short 19-yard field goal to push the Penguins' advantage to 31-7, but Indiana State scored 17 of the half's final 24 points to get within two touchdowns.

Following a one-yard run by Jaquan Keys, Tevin McCaster answered with a one-yard run of his own to give the Guins a 38-14 lead. One play later, Jacquet McClendon scored on a 77-yard run to make it a 38-21 contest. After the Guins were forced to punt, ISU's Jerry Nunez kicked a 35-yard field goal for the final score of a wild first half.

In the third quarter, Davis hooked up with Samuel St. Surin on a pair of long touchdown passes. Davis connected with St. Surin on a 61-yard pass just 2:33 into the half. Nearly seven minutes later, the duo teamed up on a 64-yard scoring play as YSU went ahead 52-24.

In the fourth quarter, Joe Alessi scored on a pair of touchdown runs as the Penguins set a school record for most points in a conference game. The previous high was 65 at Missouri State set last year.

After allowing 24 first-half points, the defense stiffened in the second half shutting out the Sycamores. YSU forced a season-high three turnovers, all interceptions. Jalyn Powell, Avery Larkin and DJ Smalls all had picks for the Guins.

The Penguins are back on the road next Saturday when they face Southern Illinois. Kickoff in Carbondale, Ill., at Saluki Stadium is set for 3 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Central time.