CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa football team defeated the No. 9 Youngstown State Penguins on the game's final play as Tyler Sievertsen kicked a 34-yard field goal to notch a 22-20 victory for the Panthers.
UNI is now 5-5 overall and 1-5 in MVFC play. YSU falls to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in league action.
Sievertsen and the Panthers drove down field 56 yards over the final 4:41 of regulation, placing Sievertsen within 34 yards of the uprights. The senior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, lined up the kick, notching his third field goal of the game to clinch the win.
Sievertsen scored the first and last points for the Panthers against Youngstown State, finishing the game with 10 points off three field goals and one PAT. Brion Carnes finished 18-30-1 for 219 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start.
Sievertsen knocked in a 49-yard field goal to put UNI up 3-0 with 11:52 on the clock in the first quarter after being set up by big plays from Evan Williams. The drive burned 3:08 off the clock for nine plays and 49 yards.
Youngstown State took a 7-3 lead with 6:42 left in the first quarter. Penguin quarterback Kurt Hess rushed the ball into the end zone for a three-yard rushing touchdown, with the drive taking 5:10 off the clock for 11 plays and 75 yards.
The Penguins jumped on the scoreboard again with 6:20 left in the game, giving them a 14-3 lead. Hess found Andre Stubbs in the end zone for an eight-yard reception, burning 2:23 off the clock for a five play, 73-yard drive.
Sievertsen put UNI on the board again to start the second half, notching a 37-yard field goal with 10:08 left in the third quarter. The drive took 2:31 off the clock for eight plays and 51 yards.
Chad Owens scored the Panthers's first touchdown of the game with 13:00 on the clock in the third quarter. Carnes and Owens linked up for a 13-yard reception to cut the YSU lead to 14-12. The drive took 36 seconds off the clock for three plays and 14 yards after Ronelle McNeil blocked an YSU punt to set up the offensive drive. The two-point conversion pass failed leaving the score at 14-12.
Just minutes later, Carnes and Owens were in sync again, giving UNI a 19-14 lead on a two-yard touchdown pass. The drive was set up by Tavaughn Blair forcing a fumble off Penguin kick returner Martin Ruiz. The scoring drive took 2:55 off the clock for six plays and 37 yards.
Youngstown State took the lead again with 4:41 left in the game after Hess snuck into the end zone for a four-yard rush. The Penguins were unable to convert on their two-point conversion, giving them a 20-19 lead. The drive took 5:17 off the clock for 13 plays and 78 yards.
Sievertsen knocked in his 34-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to seal the 22-20 win. The final UNI drive took 4:41 off the clock for 15 plays and 56 yards to end the game.
Post-Game Notes vs. Youngstown State
Youngstown State is the fourth ranked opponent the Panthers have faced this season and the third ranked in the top-10.
The last time UNI scored on its opening offensive drive was against North Dakota State (10/5) when Tyler Sievertsen knocked in a 37-yarder to put UNI up 3-0 in just the first two minutes.
Tyler Sievertsen’s 49-yard field goal against YSU was his second longest of the season after notching a career-long 50-yarder against NDSU (10/5). The last time he made a 49-yard field goal was against Iowa during the 2012 season.
Tyler Sievertsen is now seventh all-time at UNI in career scoring with 252 points. He passed Corey Lewis (246 points, 41 TDs, 1983-88) and Carl Boyd (246 points, 41 TDs, 2005-08) to move up the all-time list.
Deiondre’ Hall notched a career-long kickoff return against Youngstown State, returning it for 37 yards in the first quarter. The 37-yard return is the second longest for the Panthers this season.
Jordan Gacke grabbed his first career interception against Youngstown State, returning it for 15 yards.
Ronelle McNeil blocked a punt in the fourth quarter, the first of the season for the Panthers. The only other blocked kick this season was when Deiondre’ Hall blocked a field goal against Drake (9/7).
Chad Owens scored his eighth and ninth career touchdowns against Youngstown State, passing his father Scott Owens touchdown total of eight. Scott played for UNI from 1982-1985. This is Chad’s first-career multi-touchdown game.
Brett McMakin notched a career high and game-high nine tackles against the Penguins.