YSU sneaks past SIU, notches important win

Hunter Wells hooked up with Darien Townsend for a 10-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter for the decisive score

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – In a game Youngstown State had to win to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Penguins edged Southern Illinois, 21-14, on Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium to improve to 7-3 (5-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference). YSU will travel to Missouri State next Saturday for its regular season finale.

Against Southern Illinois, the Penguins took a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter before a 9-yard TD pass from Salukis QB Sam Straub to Connor Iwema tied the contest with 13:31 remaining.

The score stayed the same until the 4:59 mark when Hunter Wells hooked up with Darien Townsend for a 10-yard TD pass. That score — Wells’ second passing touchdown of the game — proved to be the difference.

SIU put together a late rally, pushing the ball all the way down to YSU’s 5-yard line, but the game-clock ran out.

Wells went 13 of 25 through the air for 124 yards and two TDs. Jody Webb led the rushing attack with 167 yards on 21 carries, while Martin Ruiz had 83 yards on 16 attempts.

YSU jumped ahead, 14-0, as Tevin McCaster scored in the first quarter on a 1-yard TD run. Wells then opened the second quarter with a 10-yard TD pass to Alvin Bailey.

Straub paced SIU with 366 yards on 24 of 40 passing.