South Dakota State defeats Youngstown State 42-13
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Zac Zenner scored three touchdowns as South Dakota State kept its FCS playoff hopes alive with a 42-13 win Saturday over Youngstown State.
Zenner ran for 186 of the Jackrabbits’ 312 yards rushing in a battle between two top-20 FCS teams. Seventeenth-ranked SDSU (8-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley) won its fourth straight game, while No. 18 Youngstown State (8-4, 5-3) lost its third straight.
Both teams will wait for Sunday's FCS playoff selection to learn their postseason fate.
“Hopefully the strength of our conference and finishing third in our conference will help us get in,” Youngstown State coach Eric Wolford said.
Zenner scored on runs of 1 and 6 yards, and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Austin Sumner. He left the game in the fourth quarter as a safety measure should the Jackrabbits get into the playoffs. Sumner was 15 of 19 for 170 yards passing with two scores.
A light snow fell early in the game and increased in intensity throughout. It didn't have much effect on Zenner, who rushed for over 100 yards for the eleventh time in 12 games this season.
Reggie Gandy ran for a 22-yard score and Jason Schneider caught a TD pass in the first half as SDSU went up 28-13 at the break. Gandy had 90 yards rushing on 13 carries. Schneider had seven receptions for 59 yards.
SDSU snuffed out the Penguins’ running game, allowing just 75 yards rushing on 24 carries. Youngstown State's Kurt Hess completed 9 of 19 passes for 138 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Andre Stubbs, a receiver, was the Penguins leading rusher with 39 yards on one carry.
“We're disappointed. They were able to take away our running game,” Wolford said. “Forced us to be one-dimensional, and obviously we had a hard time stopping them.”
Martin Ruiz scored both touchdowns for Youngstown State. He had a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter and a 63-yard TD reception in the second. The long pass made it 21-13 with 2:53 left in the half, but the Penguins didn't score again.
The Penguins came into the game averaging 206 yards rushing, second in the MVFC. The Penguins also averaged 35.6 points per game. Yet they have combined for just 209 yards rushing for 30 points in their last two games combined.