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WRITER: Joe Simon

Strange season ends

YOUNGSTOWN — An odd, somewhat frustrating season came to an abrupt end for the Youngstown State football team Wednesday. The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced the cancellation of the Penguins’ final game, which was set for Saturday against league rival North Dakota. According to a statement by the MVFC, the Penguins, who played more league games than any other team, “determined earlier today ...

YSU game canceled Saturday

YOUNGSTOWN — An odd, somewhat frustrating season came to abrupt end for the Youngstown State football team Wednesday. The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced the cancellation of the Penguins’ final game, which was set for Saturday against league rival North Dakota. According to a statement by the MVFC, the Penguins, who played more league games than any other team, “determined earlier today they ...

YSU at Missouri State

The Youngstown State football team has endured some tough losses in the 2021 spring football season. Last week’s defeat might have been the toughest yet. The Penguins gave up two special teams touchdowns and still held a fourth-quarter lead against previously winless Western Illinois, but they faltered in the final 7 minutes to drop to 1-5 overall and in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. YSU will ...

Penguins’ problems were of their own making

YOUNGSTOWN — A strange season keeps getting weirder for the Youngstown State football team. This time, the oddities had little to do with COVID-19. The Penguins couldn’t hold a lead and struggled with turnovers and special teams against previously winless Western Illinois last week. Areas that they’ve done well in for much of the season faltered in what appeared to be a very “winnable” game for YSU ...

Scouting Report: Week 7

As if the last year couldn’t get any stranger, it did for the Youngstown State football team last week. The Penguins had their Week 6 game canceled when North Dakota endured a positive COVID-19 test — and subsequent contact tracing — and was forced to remain in its home state. The news came at the last minute, and a YSU team gaining momentum was left without a game. It’s on to the next one for the ...

Improving Penguins come off idle week

YOUNGSTOWN — The gradual improvement is evident to Youngstown State coach Doug Phillips — and probably any fan of YSU. Every time the Penguins have played a football game this spring season, a young, inexperienced team has taken major strides. That’s part of the reason the cancellation of their game last week was so disappointing to Phillips and his players. “We would rather play,” Phillips said. ...

Leopards’ sure thing

WARREN — Warren G. Harding and Liberty weren’t real sure what they were going to get from their baseball teams when they took the field for a regular-season game for the first time in two years. Liberty’s Tom Otto brought just 13 kids to the game as the Leopards are battling a numbers game to start the year. The Raiders’ Andrew Burnett had just two returning lettermen and was fielding a team that was ...

Jakubec, secondary welcomed surprises

YOUNGSTOWN — It wasn’t a good look for Troy Jakubec. The Youngstown State corner appeared to be beat on a long pass down the sideline in a Feb. 27 game against Northern Iowa. Jakubec, a Warren G. Harding graduate, wasn’t beat. In fact, the deep area of the field wasn’t even his responsibility — and yet he covered it. The lanky, 6-foot-1 Jakubec quickly caught up to the intended receiver, lunged in ...

Penguins out to maintain momentum

YOUNGSTOWN — Finding a way to win wasn’t easy for the Youngstown State football team for the first half of the FCS spring season. Now that the Penguins have figured it out, they don’t want to lose it. Their next opponent won’t make that easy. YSU squares off against sixth-ranked North Dakota in the Penguins’ last home game of the spring at noon on Saturday. “There’s a lot of positive energy ...

Bouncing back

HILLIARD — There aren’t many things in high school wrestling more difficult than winning a state championship, but Fitch’s Colin Roberts and Boardman’s Jake Powell might have discovered one. The two seniors endured heartbreaking defeats in the semifinal round of the Division I state wrestling tournament on Sunday morning. One match from a title berth, and their dreams of becoming state champions were ...