Mistakes hurt the Jacks late in the game

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

The Jackrabbit football team faced another tough challenge, and future Gateway Football Conference opponent, for the second week in a row. This time they faced the sixth-ranked Youngstown State Penguins (1-1, 0-0). The Jacks (0-2, 0-0 GWFC) were again able to rally from an earlier deficit, but unfortunately, for the second week in a row, a late interception spelled doom for the Jacks in a 23-17 loss.

“You hate to keep having to try to find positives in a loss but we played a really good football game,” head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “I think we were definitely better than we were last week.”

The Penguins utilized a no-huddle offense and were able to drive the ball 88 yards on 14 plays on their first possession with quarterback Jabari Scott capping off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. The Penguins were able to force the Jacks into a three and out on their next possession. The Penguins were able to block the ensuing punt, picking it up at the two-yard line and walking for the touchdown to make the score 14-0 with 5:38 left in the first quarter. The Penguins would later score on a field goal to put them ahead 17-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Jacks were able to get on the board late in the second quarter. Senior Andrew Hoogeveen picked off a Scott pass deep in SDSU territory and returned it to their 41. Feeling the momentum shift, the Jacks marched down the field on an eight-play, 59-yard drive which was capped by a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Berry to running back Cory Koenig, which left the Jacks down 17-7 going into halftime.

On their first possession of the second half, the Penguins methodically marched down the field but were stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the one. SDSU again felt the momentum swing their way and again they capitalized. The Jacks benefited from a pass interference call to get out of the shadow of their own end zone and marched down the field with an 18-play, 99-yard drive that ended with Koenig scoring from two yards out. The Jacks ended the third period only down three and had momentum on their side.

#1.883324:2460136377.jpg:sdsuvsuwl052.jpg::File Photo