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North Dakota State's Cam Pedersen's 36-yard field goal in overtime lifted No. 2 Bison over No. 8 Youngstown State, 27-24, on Saturday evening at Stambaugh Stadium.
Pedersen's made field goal came after Zak Kennedy's 39-yard attempt sailed just wide right on the Penguins' overtime possession.
Youngstown State, which led 10-0 and 17-10, falls to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference while the Bison improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the MVFC.
Sophomore quarterback Nathan Mays passed for a career-high 188 yards on 11-of-15 completions with a career-best two touchdown passes and ran for 81 yards. Junior Tevin McCaster ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and Damoun Patterson led the YSU receivers with 71 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.
NDSU's Easton Stick passed for 113 yards on 11-of-20 passing and ran for 172 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run.
Trailing 24-17 and at the YSU 10 with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter, Mays engineered a nine-play, 90-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by McCaster to tie the game a 24-24 with 1:32 left in the game. On third and six from the 14, Mays hit Patterson for 35 yards to the YSU 49.
Mays ran for 36 yards to the NDSU 21 and the Penguins were helped by a pass interference penalty to put the ball on the Bison six. Three plays later, McCaster plunged in from a yard out.
The Bison scored two second-half touchdowns to take a 24-17 after Youngstown State led 17-10 early in the third. The Bison tied the game at 17-17 when Stick connected with Nate Jensen on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 3:45 left in the third. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Stick galloped 80 yards to give the Bison their first lead of the game, 24-17, with 14:45 left in the game.
Penguins took a 17-10 lead when Mays hit Kevin Rader on a 29-yard touchdown pass. On third and eight, Mays was pressured, scrambled left and found Rader wide open down the left side line. It capped an eight-play, 56-yard drive.
Kennedy 34-yard field on game's opening drive put YSU up 3-0 with 9:08 left in the first. Mays was 3-for-4 for 36 yards passing on the drive.
NDSU went three and out on its first possession and YSU responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Mays to Damoun Patterson to take a 10-0 lead at the 1:22 mark of the first quarter. Mays also connected with Stefan Derrick for a 22-yard pick up on third-and-3 to continue the drive.
Easton Stick hit RJ Urzendowski on a 16-yard touchdown pass to cap a 75-yard drive and cut the Penguins' lead to 10-7 at the 13:44 mark of the second quarter.
The Bison, who outgained the Penguins 120-19 in the second quarter, drove 80 yards and had first and two from the YSU two-yard line. The Penguins' defense held and the Bison had to settle for a 19-yard field by Cam Peterson with three seconds left before halftime.
Youngstown State visit UNI, Saturday, Oct. 21, in Cedar Fall, Iowa. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. EDT.