TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Through a pair of weather delays and a steady rainfall over the course of most of the contest, Youngstown State earned a 35-24 victory over Indiana State in front of 8,000 fans on Homecoming inside Memorial Stadium.
The Sycamores fell to 1-4, 0-1 MVFC while Youngstown State improved to 5-1, 2-0 MVFC.
The game was delayed for 10 minutes after halftime as a severe thunderstorm rolled through Vigo County during the break and then was delayed again for nearly an hour and a half with 3:02 left in the third quarter due to lighting around the stadium.
Through it all, junior quarterback Mike Perish went 30-of-56 passing for 392 yards and three touchdowns. Perish was just three completions, two pass attempts and four passing yards shy of all three single-game school records. Sampson Levingston caught two passes for 56 yards in the game but still became the first Sycamore to record three pass reception touchdowns since James Braden did it in 2001 against Missouri State. Levingston had a 27-yard reception in the second quarter, a 21-yard reception late in the fourth quarter and an 8-yard reception earlier in the final stanza came after a pair of laterals from Kyani Harris and Chris O'Leary.
Buck Logan led the Sycamore ground game with 64 yards on the ground while Harris had five pass receptions for 101 yards. Mark Sewall led the Sycamore defense with eight tackles, including two for losses and Connor Underwood added a quarterback sack.
The Sycamores opened the scoring on their first possession of the game with Tanner Fritschle booting a 23-yard field goal with 9:35 left in the first quarter. It didn’t take the Penguins long to respond as Andre Stubbs took the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Sycamore 44 and Martin Ruiz broke free on the first play from scrimmage and ran in for a Youngstown State score with 9:16 left in the first.
Indiana State was able to move on the Penguins on their next possession as the Sycamores advanced to the Youngstown nine yard line. A personal foul against Indiana State moved the ball back to the Penguins 24 and a Mike Perish pass was picked off by the Penguins Jameel Smith and returned 95 yards for a Youngstown State touchdown. The point after was good as the Sycamores fell behind 14-3 with 1:08 left in the first.
The teams traded punts early in the second quarter before the Penguins were able to strike pay dirt again, this time on a 13 yard run by Ruiz with 7:12 left in the half for a 21-3 Penguin lead. The Sycamores finally scored a touchdown with 3:31 left in the half as Perish connected with Levingston on a 27-yard touchdown strike to make it 21-10 going into the halftime break.
The rains came down for the rest of the opening half as neither team could advance the ball. However, after a 35 minute halftime, the Penguins opened the third quarter with an 80-yard drive that ended with Ruiz scoring his third touchdown of the game, this one from six yards out with 9:37 remaining to stretch the advantage out to 28-10.
The game was suspended with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter by lightning. Both teams returned to the field after a one and a half hour delay to resume the game.
Christian Bryan caught a two-yard pass from Kurt Hess with 8:51 remaining in the game to make it 35-10 in favor of the Penguins. Indiana State responded with a 68-yard pass to Kyani Harris, who lateralled at the 10-yard line to Chris O'Leary who then pitched the ball to Levingston for what officially went down as a 78-yard play but an eight-yard touchdown reception for Levingston from Perish with 7:48 remaining to inch ISU within 35-16.
Perish and Levingston hooked up on a 21-yard scoring strike with 1:57 remaining to cut the lead down to 35-24, but the Penguins were able to run out the clock by keeping the ball on the ground.
Indiana State hits the road for each of its next two contests, beginning with the program's first-ever road trip to South Dakota on Saturday, October 12. Kick-off is slated to begin at 2:00 p.m.
Right on cue, Thursday’s early winter storm dumped snow and ice on the Wabash Valley but county highway crews were a step ahead of the weather’s arrival pre-treating the 897 miles of pavement in the county.
A fire has engulfed the First Prairie Creek Church in Vigo County.
A four car accident in eastern Vigo County leaves one person dead.
Workers at a new eatery in Terre Haute are preparing to open.
Otter Creek Township is on its way to getting a new fire station.
Knox County Commissioner Don Halter is ahead of the game when it comes to winter weather preparedness. But the man-power may have a hard time running full throttle. The Knox County highway budget took big cuts in 2013.