YSU rallies from 21-point deficit, but falls to Pitt in OT

The Panthers scored on their first offensive possession in OT

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (WYTV) – Youngstown State rallied from three touchdowns down, but lost in overtime at Pittsburgh, 28-21, Saturday in its season opener.

The Panthers scored on their first offensive possession in OT, as Max Browne hit Jester Weah for a leaping 11-yard TD catch. YSU QB Hunter Wells then threw an interception to end the game.

“The guys in our locker room are hurting — they played their hearts out,” YSU head coach Bo Pelini said. “But you gotta man up and take it for what it’s worth.”

The Penguins trailed 21-0 before scoring their first touchdown midway through the third on a Tevin McCaster 1-yard TD run. They made it 21-14 midway through the fourth when Wells connected with Christian Turner for a 25-yard TD pass.

YSU tied the contest at 21 with 3:35 to play in the fourth when Wells hooked up with Turner for a 42-yard TD pass. Pitt kicker Alex Kessman then missed a 35-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter and the game went to overtime.

“We left a lot of plays out there,” Pelini said. “I’m sure Pitt’s saying the same thing. But we had multiple opportunities.”

Quadree Ollison scored two first quarter touchdowns for the Panthers on runs of 6 and 5 yards. AJ Davis made it 21-0 Pitt with a 1-yard TD run late in the second quarter.

For YSU, Wells went 18 of 32 through the air for 311 yards. Kevin Rader had six catches for 100 yards and Turner had five catches for 124 yards. McCaster had 65 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Saturday marked the Penguins’ first game since losing the FCS National Championship in January to James Madison.