|Redbirds fall in final road contest, 30-18|
|Written by Tony Andracki, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Monday, 16 November 2009 22:03|
The ISU football team dropped their final road game of the season 30-18 against conference foe Youngstown State Saturday, despite a career day from redshirt-freshman quarterback Matt Brown.
Brown threw for 328 yards to lead the Redbirds’ (5-5, 4-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference) offensive charge, completing 32 passes in 49 attempts, but it wasn’t enough to launch the ‘Birds to victory.
The Penguins (5-5, 3-4) got on the board first with a 45-yard field goal from Stephen Blose, but it was their 17 second-half points that proved to be the difference in the conference battle.
After another Blose field goal early in the second quarter, Zach Kutch, who set an ISU and MVFC record with six field goals last Saturday at home against Western Illinois, continued his torrid kicking pace with a 41-yarder to draw the score to 6-3.
Less than two minutes later, as the Penguins were about to punt the ball back to the Redbirds, senior defensive lineman Bert Whigham broke through the line and blocked the punt.
The Penguins fell on it in their own endzone for a safety and the Redbirds cut the deficit to 6-5. It was Whigham’s second blocked punt of the season.
Less than two minutes after that, sophomore running back Cliffton Gordon scored from four yards out, running the score to 12-6. YSU running back Kevin Smith retaliated with a 3-yard scoring rush of his own before Kutch added another field goal to give the ‘Birds a 15-13 halftime lead.
Neither team scored until YSU’s quarterback Brandon Summers hit Dominique Barnes for a 55-yard scoring strike, giving the Penguins a lead they would not relinquish.
Another Kutch field goal closed out the scoring for the Redbirds while Blose’s fourth-quarter field goal and Summers’ second touchdown pass of the game, an eight-yard score to Donald Jones, ran the score to 30-18.
ISU threatened on the final drive of the game, putting together a 10-play, 85-yard drive that was stopped just short. The YSU defense halted tight end Cody White, who posted a career best six catches for 76 yards on the afternoon, at the one-yard line on the game’s final play, leaving the Redbirds with a long trip home and a bad taste in their mouth.
The ‘Birds return home to take on the Panthers of Northern Iowa in their final game of the 2009 season. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon.