Penguins Fall to Butler on Last Second Field Goal, 23-21

Tevin McCaster (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Tevin McCaster (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Youngstown, Ohio – Butler's Drew Bevelhimer's 44-yard field goal with four seconds left in the game lifted the Bulldogs past No. 25 Youngstown State, 23-21, on Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium.

In the first quarter, Butler wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. After a three and out from the Penguins, the Bulldogs went 73 yards on four plays to take a 7-0 lead. On the very next drive, Tevin McCaster got YSU all the way the down to the Butler 17-yard line thanks to a 68-yard carry. The Bulldogs were able to force YSU into a 33-yard field goal attempt, but it was missed off the left upright by Zak Kennedy. The Penguins were finally able to get on the board after a 12 play, 62-yard drive was capped off by a three-yard touchdown pass from Montgomery VanGorder to Miles Joiner.

On the Penguins first drive of the second quarter, McCaster fumbled on the 50 yards to give Butler good field position. YSU defense stood strong forcing Butler into field goal attempt, which resulted in botched snap that gave the Penguins the ball back. YSU was putting together a good drive but was stopped on the Butler 11-yard line after going for it on fourth and 1. On their final drive of the half, YSU managed to get to the Butler 31. With time running out, Kennedy was sent out to kick a 48-yard field goal but missed wide right to keep the score at 7-7 headed into the half.

In the first half, YSU had 287 yards of total offense while Butler had 134 yards. The ground game led the way for Penguins as the team had 27 carries for 194 yards. Through the air, VanGorder was 9-17 for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Butler started the second half with the ball and moved right down the field. After the Penguins were able to force a fourth down, the Bulldogs went onto miss a 32-yard field goal wide left. The Penguins offense began to click on their first drive of the second half as they went 80 yards in just eight plays. The drive was capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from VanGorder to Samuel St. Surin to put the Penguins ahead 14-7. The offense kept it rolling on their next possession as they went 78 yards in five plays to take a 21-7 lead. VanGorder hit Kendric Mallory for 44 yards to give him is third passing touchdown of the afternoon.

Butler got right back in the game in the fourth quarter after they scored a touchdown with 9:20 left to bring the score to 21-14 in favor of YSU. The Bulldogs drew even closer after they scored a touchdown with 1:20 left in the game. After failing to convert a 2-point conversation, the Bulldogs recovered an onside kick with 1:18 left in the game. Butler was able to move the ball into field goal position to set up Bevelhimer for a 44-yard game-winning field goal.

McCaster carried the ball the 29 times for 176 yards while Christian Tuner had eight carries for 46 yards. VanGorder completed 18 passes on 27 attempts for 234 yards and three touchdowns. St. Surin had five receptions for 85 yards and a score while Mallory had four receptions for 78 yards and a score. 

Bryce Gibson had 8 tackles while Armand Dellovade registered seven tackles to lead the defensive effort. 

The Penguins return to action next Saturday when they travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers from Milan Puskar Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.