Jacks bounce back for Hobo Day win over Youngstown State

Andrew Mount

Coming off their terrible performance against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, the Jackrabbits wasted no time bouncing back like they said they would on Oct. 27 in a Hobo Day matchup against the Youngstown State Penguins.

Jacks’ quarterback Austin Sumner led the charge with a career-high five touchdown passes against a struggling YSU secondary. Four of Sumner’s touchdown passes came within the first half of play.

“We’ve been waiting for this one,” Sumner said. “We felt like we were due, so we went on with that attitude and it worked out.”

Sumner finished the day with 19 of 28 passing, with 351 yards, and of course, his five touchdowns.

Aaron Rollin and Tyrel Kool were among the Jacks on the receiving end of Sumner’s impressive day, with Rollin at 108 yards receiving, Kool at 96 yards receiving and each with one touchdown reception.

“We were just executing,” Rollin said. “Plays were being called and we were just going out there and executing, just the way we know we can.”

SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier was very pleased with his team’s performance on Saturday afternoon.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve been involved in a first half or half of football better than the first half,” Stiegelmeier said. “I am really proud of the way Austin Sumner played today.”


Defense returns to form


The Jackrabbits’ defense seemed to get back to its old ways on Saturday as well.

A misleading score of 41-28 makes it seem as though YSU was closer than they really were.

In reality, this was not the case.

Most of the Penguin’s points came when the game was mostly over with, and the Jacks’ defense did their part to keep YSU out of the end zone while Austin Sumner and the Jacks’ offense ran away with the game, scoring 35 unanswered points at one time.

“It’s always great to get out to a fast start,” Jacks’ linebacker Ross Shafrath said. “Sometimes we are down after a loss like that (last week vs. UNI), but it’s important to bounce back.”

YSU was only two of four inside the red zone on Saturday, as the Jacks made enough plays to keep them out.

“We always try to step up in the red zone,” Shafrath said. “We’ve always had a pretty good red zone defense this year, and we hope to continue that.”

Jackrabbit linebackers T.J. Lally and Skyler Luxa made their contributions to the defensive side as well, as they had one interception each coming off of throws from YSU quarterback Kurt Hess.

“We’ve had a number of games really that we’ve played great defense,” Stiegelmeier said. “Whether it was a bad snap by their long snapper, an interception by T.J. Lally or the interception by Skyler, there were a lot of guys doing big plays in the football game that have an effect, and then they feed on that.”


Recap and the road ahead


The Jackrabbits played well in all phases of the game Saturday.

“Proud of our football team,” Stiegelmeier said. “They came out ready to play, and played in every phase of the game to perfection.”

Zach Zenner seemed to be invisible against YSU, only rushing for 87 yards on 17 carries — a season low, and also a season low for the third straight week.

“A lot of people will question, Zach Zenner didn’t get his yards,” Stiegelmeier said. “That’s not how we play football here, and that’s not Zach Zenner. We won the football game.”

Despite a huge performance and win, the Jacks still have work to do.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, and that’s fine,” Stiegelmeier said.