YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Wofford SID) – The Wofford College football team’s season came to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 30-23 loss in double overtime to Youngstown State in the NCAA FCS Quarterfinals. The Terriers took a lead with 9:22 left in the game, but a field goal by the Penguins tied it with five minutes remaining. Both teams failed to score in the first overtime and Wofford could not answer a touchdown by YSU in the second overtime.
Wofford ends the season at 10-4 overall. Youngstown State moves to 11-3 and advances to the semifinals. The Terriers, ranked #19, were led by Joe Newman with 125 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Lorenzo Long added a pair of rushing touchdowns. Malik Rivera led the Wofford defense with 11 tackles and an interception. The #12 ranked Penguins were led by Jody Webb with 2143 rushing yards, while Wells Hunter threw for three touchdowns.
The Penguins had the ball first and went three-and-out. The punt was blocked by Mason Alstatt and recovered by R.J. Taylor at the five-yard line. On the third play of the first drive by Wofford, Lorenzo Long scored from one yard out. A bad snap on the point after made it a 6-0 lead with 12:11 on the clock. The Penguins gained a pair of first downs after a long kickoff return, but a 43-yard field goal attempt into the wind was wide left. The Terriers were limited to one first down before punting.
On the first play of the ensuing drive by the Penguins, Malik Rivera picked off a pass from Hunter Wells and Wofford took over at the 43-yard line. After a first down, David Marvin hit a 37-yard field goal for a 9-0 lead with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. The Penguins picked up a pair of first downs, but then a sack by Thad Mangum forced a punt. Wofford began at the 16-yard line and went three-and-out. On the next drive by the Penguins, they gained four first downs and then scored on a nine-yard pass to Darien Townsend. The PAT was missed and the score was 9-6 at the 5:48 mark of the second quarter.
Wofford gained one first down before having to punt. After one first down, Hunter Wells found Damoun Patterson for a 45-yard touchdown pass and took a 13-9 advantage with 2:18 left in the first half. Wofford once again was held to one first down and punted with 27 seconds on the clock. The Penguins took a knee to send the game to halftime.
To open the first half, Joe Newman took the ball on the first play up the middle for 75 yards and a touchdown. The Terriers had a 16-13 lead with 14:46 in the third quarter. The Penguins had the ball, but Terrance Morris forced a fumble that was recovered by Tyler Vaughn and the Terriers took over at the 37-yard line. The Terriers then fumbled the ball and the Penguins recovered at the 36-yard line. After two big first downs, a 40-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the defensive line. Wofford went three-and-out with the ball back and punted.
The Penguins drove down the field in ten plays and had a drive capped by a five-yard touchdown catch by Isiah Scott to give YSU a 20-16 lead with 1:33 on the clock in the third quarter. Wofford answered with a 13-play drive that covered 75 yards and ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Long. After the PAT, the Terriers had a 23-20 lead with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter. With the ball back, the Penguins gained three first downs, but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal to tie the game at 23 with 5:04 on the clock. Wofford had one first down before punting and the Penguins took over at the three-yard line. A three-and-out and punt gave Wofford the ball at the 43-yard line with 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter. A 53-yard field goal by David Marvin as time expired was short and the game went to overtime.
The Terriers had the ball to begin overtime. They gained one first down, but then were faced with fourth-and-one at the two. The pitch was fumbled and the Penguins took over. On fourth down, a 37-yard field goal was wide right and the game went to a second overtime. The Penguins had the ball first and they gained a first down. A two-yard touchdown run by Tevin McCaster and the PAT gave YSU a 30-23 lead. The Terriers were faced with a 4th and 13 and a pass was incomplete to end the game.
Wofford had 297 total yards, all rushing. Youngstown State had 413 total yards, 240 of which were rushing. Wofford had 11 first downs to 21 for Youngstown State. Wofford was 6-of-16 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth downs. Youngstown State was 10-of-17 on third down. Wofford was called for four penalties, while Youngstown State was whistled twice. Youngstown State had a 31:20 to 28:40 time of possession advantage.
Wofford Head Coach Mike Ayers
There is no doubt it was disappointing. Two great teams scrapping against each other and we took their best shot and they took our best shot. We had some really good play balling and had some kids hat competed their tails off and did it in the right way. Youngstown has a heck of a program and I think we have a heck of a program. To look at the season and all the adversity that we have faced and never once did they slow down or back up or give up. They just kept fighting. You see a bunch of kids that love each other and compete for each other and I am proud to be there coach. We could have had a better game. Some of our mistakes were because of us and some were because of the type of play the Youngstown gave us. I love this group of guys and they are going to be always, no matter how long from this day, will be in my heart. I love them to death. Some of them don’t pass the look test, but they pass the heart test.
Wofford vs. Youngstown State Post-Game Notes
The game marked the seventh season that the Terriers have played in the NCAA FCS postseason. They are now 7-7 all-time in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.
This was the second meeting ever between Wofford and Youngstown State. The Penguins won in 1996 and in 2016.
Jody Webb had 213 yards, the first time the Wofford defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. Webb was the first 200-yard rusher allowed since Chris Evans (11/14/2009, Samford, 257 yards).
The #19 Terriers had ten wins on the season, topping the total from last year (5-6). The eight regular season wins were the most since the 2011 season and the ten total wins the most since 2010.
Joe Newman had his first career 100+ yard rushing game.
Lorenzo Long had 42 rushing yards. He ends his career with 3,477 rushing yards to rank 5th in school history. With his two touchdowns, he has 43 in his career to rank third in school history.
The interception by Malik Rivera was his first of the season and career.
The game was the second overtime game of the season for the Terriers, both losses. Wofford is now 4-5 all-time in overtime games.
Game captains were Will Gay, Anton Wahrby, Lincoln Stewart and Dylan Young.
Attendance was 8,066 at Stambaugh Stadium and YSU is now 8-0 at home this season.