Youngstown State dominates in MVFC opener

Youngstown State dominates in MVFC opener

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) – Hunter Wells completed 15 of 26 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard strike to Andrew Williams, to help Youngstown State to a 31-3 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.

Martin Ruiz ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns and Youngstown State jumped out to 17-0 halftime lead while improving to 3-0 against the Coyotes. In their two previous games, the Penguins needed fourth-quarter touchdowns to come from behind.

“I didn’t think our defense played poorly but offensively we were fit to be tied,” South Dakota coach Joe Glenn said. “We tried running and we tried throwing and we couldn’t do anything.”

South Dakota quarterback Ryan Saeger completed just nine of 25 passes for 119 yards. Michael Fredrick had one catch for 63 yards.

“Everybody could put blame on Ryan Saeger but we didn’t have anybody open,” Glenn said.

The Penguins (3-1, 1-0 MVFC) marched 80 yards on their first possession to take the lead for good.

Defensively, Youngstown State held the Coyotes (2-2, 0-1) to just 143 yards on the ground and 119 passing.

The Penguins forced South Dakota to punt on its first possession, then marched 80 yards in 16 plays to go up 7-0 on Ruiz’s 1-yard run and Zak Kennedy’s PAT. The drive chewed up 7:25.

Youngstown State went up 10-0 on Kennedy’s 33-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. The kick was the result of a fumble by Saeger that was returned 50 yards to the Coyote 10 by LeRoy Alexander.

Youngstown state quarterback Hunter Wells hit Andrew Williams on a slant route that went 51 yards for a 17-0 Penguins lead with 12:19 left in the half.

Wells also had a 13-yard TD to Shane Kuhn late in the fourth quarter. He was intercepted twice. Williams caught four passes for 79 yards.

The Coyotes got on the board on Miles Bergner’s 39-yard field goal with 10:20 to play.

With 12:07 left in the game, South Dakota’s Paul Anderson dropped a punt his own 2-yard line and the Penguins recovered. On the next play, Ruiz scored his second TD of the game from 2 yards out.

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