YSU's Smith extends streak
He was named the offensive player of the game for his efforts.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State senior Kyle Smith went into last week's season opener against Slippery Rock trying to extend a streak that he's carried from his sophomore season.
Smith went into last Thursday's contest having caught a pass in his last 22 games as a wide receiver for the Penguins.
Against The Rock, the 6-foot, 175-pound captain not only extended his streak to 23 games, but he finished with six receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown to lead the way in the Penguins' 44-14 victory at Stambaugh Stadium.
With the catches Smith passed Rick Shepas (1985-86) to take over fourth place on the consecutive game reception list and is only one behind No. 3 Elliott Giles (1998-99) who had 24.
Patterson all-time leader
The all-time leader is Jeff Patterson who had at least one reception for 28 straight games.
Smith, who missed the team's final game in 2004 because of an injury, was named the Hill, Barth and King offensive player of the game.
The game's defensive honors against Slippery Rock went to senior defensive end Justin Scholes, another one of the Penguins' four captains.
The 6-1, 240-pounder from Mentor made five tackles against The Rock, including one of three Penguin tackles for losses.
The special team honors went to senior linebacker Mike Andrews.
The 6-1, 230-pound Florida native made three tackles in the game and performed soundly on most of the Penguins special team units.
Jewell top lineman
The Jim Zdelar Offensive Lineman of the Game was Warren Harding's Ryan Jewell, the 6-4, 290-pound junior center who anchored the offensive line that paved the way for 417 total yards, including 287 rushing yards.
The Jermaine Hopkins Defensive Lineman of the Game was sophomore Ben Suran.
The 6-2, 285-pound defensive tackle from Mequon, Wis., had two tackles, but helped a defensive unit that held Slippery Rock just 236 total yards and just 83 rushing yards.
Scholes was also awarded for having the Wash-on-Wheels Derrick Pixley Hit of the Week.
The Haines Family Player of the Game, which is selected by the YSU radio broadcast team, was junior punter Joe Bishop.
The 5-10, 195-pounder from St. Thomas Aquinas High punted five times for just a 36.4 average, but his first kick of the game rolled dead at the Slippery Rock 2-yard line and his second stopped at The Rock's 8-yard line.
Bishop also kicked off in the final period putting his first two efforts well into the Slippery Rock end zone.
This week the Penguins will be at home again when they square off against Northeastern University in a 4 p.m. kickoff at Stambaugh Stadium.