Roadkill: YSU runs over ’Rabbits
McCaster, Penguins keep ball for 45 minutes
By Brian Dzenis
Armand Dellovade picked up a safety and interception and he probably didn’t even need to clean up that much to enjoy his Saturday night.
The junior linebacker — and Youngstown State’s entire defense — saw just under 15 minutes of action as the Penguins controlled the clock for a 19-7 victory against South Dakota State.
“It was pretty nice — the offense being on the field as long as possible,” Dellovade said. “The outcome was good and I felt like I barely even played.”
The best way to stop the Jackrabbits’ high-flying offense is to keep it off the field and the Penguins managed that in spades.
YSU (3-1, 1-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference) dominated time of possession, holding on to the ball for 45 minutes, 14 seconds. The Penguins administered a heavy dose of Tevin McCaster, who took the ball 35 times for 183 rushing yards and a touchdown. Christian Turner complemented the junior back with 16 carries for 62 yards.
“I was tired, but it was awesome,” McCaster said.
Nathan Mays was pressed into service and did his part with his legs as well, rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown. Both McCaster and Mays’ scores came in the first half.
Mays replaced Hunter Wells during the team’s opening drive. Wells was playing in his first game since he suffered a separated shoulder in the Penguins 30-0 win against Robert Morris on Sept. 9. That same right shoulder appeared to bother him against SDSU (3-1, 0-1) as he spent the rest of the contest in a sling.
YSU had a chance to have a two-score lead heading into the locker room at halftime, but ran out of time. The Penguins had the ball at the Jackrabbits’ 5-yard line with 11 seconds to go with no timeouts. Mays threw a 3-yard pass to McCaster, who couldn’t get out of bounds to stop the clock.
“I kind of go and sometimes [the coaches] get a little mad at me. I wasn’t thinking about the clock,” Mays said. “I should have thrown the ball away so we could get the field goal.”
That two-score lead eventually came late the third quarter, but not in a way the Penguins would have preferred. Again, YSU found itself within five yards of six points and instead came away with zero. Nathan Mays threw an interception to Larenzo Williams that he initially bobbled before coming down with the catch.
On the next play, Dellovade tackled running back Mikey Daniel in the end zone for as safety.
In the fourth quarter, Zak Kennedy kicked a 24-yard field goal and Dellovade intercepted Taryn Christion. SDSU’s NFL prospect tandem of wideout Jake Wieneke and Dallas Goedert were limited to a combined seven catches for 119 yards.
“I promise you I’ll enjoy this tonight,” Penguins coach Bo Pelini said. “I might sit on my coach and enjoy a Coca Cola … a Pepsi. Whatever. I don’t know, whatever is in my fridge.”