Published September 13, 2011http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
Youngstown State's worst loss in 2010 was the only one I didn't see live.
The Penguins were on a five-game losing streak when they went to Illinois State on Nov. 6. Since the game didn't mean anything -- they had been eliminated from the playoff and conference races at that point -- and since the first weekend in November is one of the busiest for high school sports, I instead covered Warren JFK's Division III regional soccer game in Ravenna.
After the game ended, I drove to a little Mexican restaurant just outside Ravenna called "Acapulco" and listened to the last few minutes of the YSU game in my car. When the Penguins went up 39-35 with 28 seconds left, I thought, "How are they going to blow this one?"
Turns out, it was on a last-second Hail Mary. I just remember Bob Hannon and Ed Muransky wondering why there was no YSU defender behind the play. They weren't the last to wonder this.
If you missed it, you can see it here (fast forward to the 4:30 mark):
And here (fast forward to 4:20, where you can see the Hail Mary and the play just before it):
After listening for a few seconds, I shrugged, turned off my car and wrote my soccer story over a plate of terrific enchiladas. The next week, YSU again lost in the final seconds when it failed to score in the Indiana State red zone.
The pregame meal was delicious.
After watching the first two games, I have no idea if YSU is good or if it just exceeded expectations against Michigan State, then blew out an absolutely awful Valparaiso team.
Saturday should go a long way toward answering that question.
Couple poll notes to pass on:
1. YSU is ranked 28th in the weekly FCS Coaches Poll. Defending league champion Northern Iowa is No. 2 behind Georgia Southern.
2. The Penguins are 35th in The Sports Network/Fathead FCS poll.
I don't vote in either of these, in case you're wondering.
I'm hoping to do a weekly trivia contest each week, with the winner getting two free tickets. I meant to do this for Valpo but, well, I never got around to it.
Anyway, here's our inaugural question:
In 1988, then-Ursuline senior defensive lineman Eric Wolford was named All-Steel Valley Conference team. Name one other player named first team All-SVC that year.
The first person to email me a correct answer (firstname.lastname@example.org) gets two free tickets.
Note: These are reserved seats in Section 6, Row 21.
I actually have some good photos from Wolford that year. I'm hoping to upload them sometime this week. (Due to technical difficulties, I wasn't able to get them up tonight.)
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. Still looking for a winner.
UPDATE: Brad Rauchfuss is our winner! He correctly guessed Jason Marucci, a running back from Boardman.
Here is the complete list of first teamers that year:
Ends: Mike Bosi, Mooney; Ron Bunofsky, Ursuline
Tackles: Mike Clever, Mooney; Ben Burton, Fitch
Guards: Jamie Fitz-Patrick, Fitch; John Vranches, Mooney
Center: Sam Mosca, Ursuline
Quarterback: Derick Fletcher, Fitch
Backs: Deollo Anderson, Ursuline; Clinton Lynch, Ursuline; Chuck Wesson, Fitch; Jason Marucci, Boardman
Kicker: Jeff Wilkins, Fitch
Linemen: Sean Dabney, Ursuline; John Zuzan, Mooney; John Polish, Fitch; Wolford; Jim Price, Boardman
Linebackers: Jaime Mendez, Mooney; Don Houser, Fitch; Lock Beachum, Ursuline; Doug Velasquez, Boardman
Defensive backs: Marcus Coleman, Mooney; Todd O'Palick, Fitch; Mike Tucci, Boardman
Wilkins, of course, went on to be a kicker at YSU and in the NFL. And Lock's son, Brandon, is now a running back at Penn State.
I'll have a trivia question before every home game this season, so watch the blog for the chance to win.