YSU falls at Indiana St., 28-17
A disappointing loss was compounded with an injury to starting quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw on Saturday, as Youngstown State fell at Indiana State in Terre Haute, 28-17.
The Penguins (2-4, 1-3 Missouri Valley) lost Crenshaw during the first quarter to an apparent lower leg or ankle injury.
In his place, Joe Craycraft went 13-for-31 for 172 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off four times.
Of losing Crenshaw, head coach Doug Phillips said that the Penguins didn’t have to alter the game plan much, other than not calling as many designed runs for Craycraft.
Crenshaw came out of the game with the score tied 7-7.
ISU struck first on a 6-yard run from quarterback Anthony Thompson, then YSU responded with a 21-yard touchdown run from Jaleel McLaughlin, who finished with 138 yards and that score on 17 carries.
Indiana State (4-4, 2-3 MVFC) retook the lead on a 2-yard run from Peterson Kerlegrand.
The Sycamores had a chance to extend that lead again, as they drove deep into the red zone. But YSU pressured Thompson, who forced the ball into the end zone and into the hands of linebacker Grant Dixon. It was one of a few critical stops the Penguin defense made to keep the team in the mix.
After the teams exchanged punts, YSU went on a 12-play, 92-yard drive capped by a 12-yard fade from Craycraft to Bryce Oliver for a touchdown to knot the game up at 14 going into half.
“I thought Joe came in and made some nice passes. We tried to push the ball downfield,” Phillips said. “I thought the fade route right before half to Bryce Oliver was a great throw and a great combination.”
The Penguins couldn’t keep the wind in their sails, however. After marching the ball to the ISU 2 yard line to begin the third quarter, YSU was forced to settle for a field goal to go up 17-14, its only lead of the game.
From there, the offense struggled. The Penguins had five more drives, the first of which ended on downs and the other four in interceptions.
Meanwhile, ISU jump started its offense again, and used a 12-yard touchdown run from Thompson to retake the lead, and then later a 53-yard touchdown scamper from Kerlegrand to land its haymaker.
“We needed to score a touchdown there in the third quarter. Sometimes it’s easy to second guess, but we have to put the ball in the end zone and we elected to kick a field goal probably knowing field goals weren’t going to win this football game,” Phillips said.
He added, “Effort’s there, but we have to learn how to win on the road. We’re not there yet. It starts at the top, starts with me, starts with our assistants and has to filter down to the players.”
YSU hosts South Dakota State next week. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.