Electric-run game leads YSU past Missouri State to victory

Demeatric Crenshaw runs 73 yards for a touchdown to seal the game.

By Yousof Hamza

The Youngstown State University football team beat the No. 15 Missouri State University Bears with a dominating run performance during the homecoming game.

YSU ran for 377 yards in a 41-33 upset. Redshirt freshman quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw led the Penguins in rushing with 195 yards and a touchdown — a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback. The touchdown came off a 73-yard run to seal the win.

Crenshaw also threw 10 of 19 for 99 yards and two touchdowns. He was happy about the win but stressed that he can do better.

“It feels good to get in the end zone, but I should have gone down. I felt open and I just kept running — I need to know to get down in [that] situation,” he said. 

Crenshaw’s performance earned him the Stats Perform Freshman of the Week and he was also awarded the Missouri Valley Newcomer of the Week.

Head coach Doug Phillips explained that Crenshaw has not reached his full potential. He praised the quarterback on learning from his mistakes and being able to handle the stress thrown at him.

“Whether it’s pass concepts, protections — we’re force-feeding it into him and he’s doing a great job studying during the week,” Phillips said. “The minute you see the light is coming on for him, he has the opportunity with his legs and arms here to hurt some defenses.”

Senior tailback Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, a sharp contrast from his mere 20 yards last week against the University of Northern Iowa.

Other highlights include senior placekicker Colt McFadden’s career-long 45-yard field goal. McFadden went 2 of 2 for both field goals and extra points.

MSU was sloppy with the ball with four turnovers: two fumbles and two interceptions.

Sophomore defensive backs Keyon Martin and Jordan White each had an interception. White also led the team in tackles with seven solos and two assists. Martin had three solos and two assists.

Martin also accounted for one of the forced fumbles along with sophomore defensive tackle Chris Fitzgerald. Senior defensive backs Zaire Jones and Issac James-Gray returned those fumbles.

Junior linebacker Griffin Hoak stressed the importance of practice heading into the game. The coaches wanted to see four turnovers per practice period, he said.

Despite these turnovers, MSU managed to put up 503 yards of offense with 372 yards in the air.

All season long, Phillips has stressed the need to have big, explosive plays to help win games. It was something he felt the team was lacking going into this game.

“Those explosives turned into touchdowns,” he said. “Think you can drive a ball 15 plays and getting 4 or 5 yards a crack in today’s game of football? [You can’t]. You’ve got to have explosive kickoff returns that lead to a touchdown, explosive pass plays lead to another explosive pass play and a touchdown.”

While he feels the team isn’t exactly there yet on explosive plays, Phillips believes the team is getting there and is connecting on more big plays.

YSU heads into a bye week before playing the Indiana State University Sycamores in Terre Haute, Indiana on Oct. 23 at Memorial Stadium.