Courtesy of Northern Iowa Athletics
- Northern Iowa scored on its final possession and held Youngstown State to four and out on its final possession to secure a 34-30 win over the Penguins Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Panthers (5-3, 4-1 MVFC) tallied 434 offensive yards, led by a career-high 194 yards rushing from Tirrell Rennie. Rennie also finished 8-of-16 for 152 yards passing.
Carlos Anderson notched 66 yards rushing, and his 58-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter set up the Panthers’ final score. Billy Hallgren kicked two field goals and four extra points, giving him sole possession of the UNI career scoring record.
L.J. Fort led the Panthers with 11 tackles, and Jordan Smith notched 10. UNI finished with six tackles for a loss in the game.
Youngstown State (3-6, 1-5 MVFC) finished with 365 yards on offense. Jamaine Cook finished with 127 rushing yards, and Kurt Hess tallied 218 yards passing.
Facing third and 14, Kurt Hess hit Andre Barboza with a 33-yard touchdown pass to put YSU on the board first, 7-0 with 11:18 left in the first quarter.
After a Krusey punt pinned the Penguins inside their own 10, Jordan Smith forced a fumble and James Conley fell on it at the YSU nine to give the Panthers first and goal. A holding penalty moved UNI back to the YSU 17. Rennie rushed for seven yards on the next play, but he was sacked on second down to bring up third and goal from the 16. Rennie found some room on third down, but he was stopped at the two to bring up fourth down. The Panthers settled for a field goal to make the score 7-3.
YSU answered just 40 seconds later when Hess found Barnes wide open on the right sideline for a 71-yard touchdown pass, extending the Penguin lead to 14-3 with 14:14 left in the first half.
Jamar Thompson picked off Hess at midfield later in the second quarter, and the Panthers took over at the YSU 42 after the return. Two plays later, Rennie hit Schuylar Oordt with a 39-yard touchdown pass to cut the UNI deficit to 14-10 with 9:42 left in the half.
The Panthers were putting a drive together later in the quarter when Rennie was intercepted in the endzone by Will Shaw, who returned it 87 yards to the UNI 13 with less than a minute left in the half. Facing third and seven at the UNI 10, YSU faked a field goal attempt, just missing an open David Rach in the endzone. It dropped with one second left on the clock, giving the Penguins a chance to kick the 27-yard field goal and take a 17-10 lead into the half.
UNI took its opening possession of the second half 79 yards for a score, capped by a 29-yard run by Rennie for the touchdown. Hallgren’s PAT tied the game at 17-17 with 5:32 to go in the third.
The Panther defense forced a three-and-out from YSU, and Hallgren gave UNI it’s first lead with a 32-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter, putting the Panthers in front 20-17.
The Penguins answered with an 81-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown run from Adaris Bellamy. Stephen Blose’s PAT was no good, keeping the YSU lead at 23-20 with 8:34 to play.
UNI responded on its next drive, going 52 yards for the touchdown. Jarred Herring took a pitch to the right side for 11 yards to get the score, and Hallgren’s PAT made is 27-23 with 6:03 to play.
YSU put together a seven-play, 70-yard drive, including a 39-yard touchdown run by Cook to reclaim the lead, 30-27 with 2:27 on the clock.
Anderson took the kickoff 58 yards to the YSU 19, and Rennie took the first play of the drive in for the score, putting the Panthers in the lead, 34-30 with 2:08 remaining.
The Panther defense brought up fourth and one, and James Conley dropped Cook for a loss to turn the ball over to the Panthers on downs and secure the UNI win.
The Panthers return to action on Saturday when they play at Indiana State.