YSU FOOTBALL A 'so-so' scrimmage
Senior Colby Street has been named the starting quarterback.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State head football coach Jon Heacock was disappointed in his team's second scrimmage of the preseason Tuesday afternoon.
The scrimmage was held under actual game conditions, except for kickoffs, and the Red team (the No. 1 unit) defeated the White team 13-0.
"We seemed to know what we are doing better out there today, but we still put the ball on the ground and we had way too many penalties for a team that is going to open the season in about a week," Heacock said.
"I'm hoping that it was a team that is coming to the end of two-a-day workouts and is somewhat sluggish and that things will continue to progress from here out."
The Penguins' top offensive threat, senior tailback P.J. Mays, showed no signs of sluggishness as he played just three offensive series and rushed for 81 yards on eight carries and scored the only touchdown for the Red team.
Senior quarterback Colby Street has been named the team's starting quarterback. Although he was just 4-of-10 passing for 29 yards, he had several passes dropped and is still wearing a black jersey, so his running ability in the scrimmages is nullified.
"Colby is our starter right now and he has taken over that spot because of his hard work," Heacock said.
Street said that he was glad to be the starter, but that he knows he has to work hard to stay there.
"There are a lot of good quarterbacks on this team and I know that I have to continue to work hard and get better if I want to stay No. 1," Street said.
"Today the offense didn't work well -- we fumbled a couple times and we had a lot of penalties, and that has to stop."
Junior transfer quarterback Luis Gonzales, who worked mainly with the No. 2 offense but saw some time with the No. 1 unit, completed 7-of-16 passes for 63 yards, while senior transfer Justin Green was 2-of-6 for 8 yards, all with the second unit.
Others on offense
Mays, junior Josiah Doby and junior Darius Peterson all ran well with the No. 1 unit. Doby was second to Mays with 57 yards in nine carries, and Peterson, who earlier in the preseason was shifted to defensive back, rushed for 44 yards on 12 carries.
Junior placekicker Jake Stewart was perfect on all three of his kicks. He hit field goals of 31 and 41 yards and converted his lone extra-point try. His 41-yard kick cleared the cross bar with plenty to spare with a slight wind at his back.
"I was really happy with the kicking game today," Heacock said. "I thought our punters all did a fine job, while Jake looked in top form."
Senior punter Kosta Karapetsas and freshman kicker Joe Bishop did most of the punting for the two units, and both finished averaging over 40 yards per kick. Sophomore Ryan Martino only punted once, but still managed a 33-yard boot.
The Red defense, besides holding the White scoreless, allowed just three first downs in the scrimmage, sparked by the play of senior linebackers Russell Stuvaints, Jon Tekac and Justin Dellarose, along with defensive linemen seniors Matt Mechling, Guy Mazard, Martin Stachowicz and transfer Tim Frost.
Sophomore defensive back Mike Bracken came up with the big defensive play for the Red when he intercepted a Gonzales pass at his own 44-yard line and returned it to the White's 15.
Putting up points
The Red scored its first points on its opening drive, which took nine plays and covered 48 yards. Stewart's 31-yard field goal gave the team a 3-0 lead.
On the Red's second series, Mays put on a show as he gained 13, 16 and 24 yards on three straight carries. After Street hit his fullback, Mike Roberts, with a 7-yard pass, Mays then carried the final 5 yards for the score.
The only other score came late in the scrimmage when Stewart was again perfect from 41 yards out.
Freshman redshirt linebacker Joe Juby had a big day for the No. 2 defense as he recorded two sacks; the second on Street forced a fumble that he also recovered.
Street and Doby combined for a 32-yard gain on a middle screen play, which was the biggest offensive play for either team.
The Penguins will hold a kicking scrimmage today at 3:30 p.m. at Stambaugh, which will conclude two-a-day workouts. The team will take Thursday off and begin preparing for the season opener with Clarion University on Friday at 4 p.m. The opener is slated for Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Stambaugh.