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Penguins falter in close loss

MACOMB, Ill. — Two late interceptions helped Western Illinois rally past Youngstown State and earn its first win of the season, 27-24, in a Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup on Saturday.

The Penguins (1-5, 1-5) held a 24-19 lead early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Mark Waid was picked off inside YSU territory. WIU (1-5, 1-5) took the lead when quarterback Connor Sampson found Tony Tate — who had a huge game for the Leathernecks — on a 28-yard touchdown pass. Western Illinois made the two-point conversion to go up 27-24 with 6:35 left in the game.

The Penguins forced a punt with a little over 2 minutes remaining with a chance to tie the game or take the lead, but Waid was intercepted again, this time by Justin Nutof, and the Leathernecks were able to run out the clock.

Waid finished 20-of-28 for 186 yards, one TD and two interceptions. He was sacked four times. Running back Jaleel McLaughlin ran for more than 100 yards for a third straight game, gaining 122 yards — including a 72-yard TD in the first half.

Sampson completed 21-of-34 passes for 301 yards and two TDs. Tate caught three passes for 72 yards, with two receiving TDs. He also ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown early in the second half.

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