YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It was a crazy scene at Eastern Washington Saturday night when YSU won on a last-second touchdown to advance to the National Championship.
And it was also pretty wild back home at the MVR, where WYTV spent the entire second half capturing the scene inside the bar/restaurant as the Penguins mounted their comeback and won in dramatic fashion.
“I knew we had it in us the whole time,” said Craig Caputo, a recent YSU grad. “Youngstown, it’s a city where we fight for everything. I had a feeling we were gonna come back and we did.”
“We went absolutely crazy watching the show here,” said YSU fan Jeff Crystal. “The game was fabulous — Bo going crazy — we’re going to Texas!”
YSU will next play James Madison on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas for the FCS national title. The Penguins are looking to capture their first national championship since 1997 when Jim Tressel was the head coach.
YSU President Tressel released a statement following Saturday’s win.
“On behalf of everyone at YSU, congratulations to Coach Pelini, his staff and all of the players for their incredible victory out in Washington and for advancing to the National Championship game,” Tressel wrote. “Your hard work and perseverance all season long has led you to this point and we wish all of you well as you seek our fifth national title. All of us in Penguin Nation certainly are Y and Proud!!”
The MVR certainly swelled with pride when Kevin Rader caught the game-winning TD pass from Hunter Wells with one second left.
For all in the restaurant, it was a perfect early Christmas gift.
“Last-second play — nothing better,” Caputo said. “What a catch. What else can I say? What a catch. Great game.”
“When we saw the review, we knew it was a touchdown,” said YSU alum Gina Mancini. “We just had to sit there and wait — and then we celebrated.”
“This is absolutely insane,” she added. “It’s awesome for the community and awesome for YSU.”