Jacks top Penguins on Hobo Day


For whatever reason, the Jackrabbit football team has been largely unable to pass the ball effectively this season.

That was not the case Saturday.

The Jackrabbits, powered by a career-high five touchdown passes from sophomore Austin Sumner built a 34 point lead over Youngstown State and then hung on to defeat the Penguins, 41-28, in front of 14,966 fans on the 100th anniversary of Hobo Day.

Five different receivers caught touchdown passes for the Jackrabbits, who posted a season-high in passing yards with 351. SDSU’s passing attack was a three-headed monster on the receiving end. Brandon Hubert had seven catches for 96 yards, while Aaron Rollin and Tyrel Kool each had three catches for 108 and 96 yards, respectively, with a touchdown. Sumner finished the game 19-for-28 passing for 351 yards.

“We’ve been waiting for this one,” Sumner said. “We felt like we were due.”

Seth Daughters caught the first of Sumner’s five scores on the first drive of the game. The Penguins tied the game on a 15-yard touchdown run by Kurt Hess near the end of the quarter.

After a 50 yard touchdown pass to Kool to make it 14-7, the Jacks took advantage of a bad snap on a punt and Sumner found Hubert to make it 21-7. In less than two minutes of game time, T.J. Lally made an interception and Zach Zenner covered 15 yards in two runs to put SDSU up 28-7. As a final mark on the first half, Skyler Luxa intercepted a driving YSU offense and the Jacks went 93 yards in seven plays in 2 minutes and 14 seconds, capped by a 17 yard touchdown pass to Jason Schneider with three seconds left until halftime, up 35-7.

“Plays were made today,” Rollin said. “They’ve always been there and it was just a matter of if we made plays or not.”

The Jackrabbit defense was mostly solid in keeping the Penguins off the board until Kurt Hess found Christian Bryan for a third quarter touchdown that broke a string of 35 unanswered points by SDSU.

And the turnover bug that largely plagued the Jackrabbits a week ago at Northern Iowa was not much of a problem. Sumner was intercepted in the fourth quarter on a odd interception return where Christian Bryan pitched the ball to Aronde Stanton, who ran it in 19 yards for the score. But YSU head coach Eric Wolford was more upset about the three Penguin turnovers.

As for the unsavory finish, Stiegelmeier said that’s not the end of the world.

“That means we have a lot of stuff to work on and that’s fine,” Stiegelmeier said.

The Jacks travel to Carbondale, Ill., next Saturday to play Southern Illinois.