YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) – Trey Lance threw for three touchdowns and ran for another and top-ranked North Dakota State beat Youngstown State 56-17 on Saturday night to extend its win streak to 30 games.
Lance went 7 of 9 for 160 yards with no interceptions and Kobe Johnson scored on a 94-yard kickoff return and a 75-yard run. The freshman running back finished with 241 all-purpose yards, including 103 rushing.
NDSU (9-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference) went three-and-out on the game’s opening possession but Youngstown State’s Jake Coates muffed the punt, Ross Kennelly recovered it for the Bison at the 25 and, four plays later, Lance scored on a 9-yard run. The Penguins were forced to punt on their ensuing possession and, after Lance ran for 17 yards on third-and-7 from the 17, he hit Christian Watson in stride for a 69-yard touchdown on a play-action pass to make it 14-0 with 5:22 left in the first quarter. Youngstown State then went three-and-out and Lance connected with Josh Babicz for a 6-yard touchdown about four minutes later.
Backup quarterback Joe Craycraft, who replaced starter Nathan Mays late in the first quarter, threw a 23-yard TD pass to Miles Joiner to get the Penguins (5-4, 1-4) on the scoreboard with 55 seconds left in the second quarter but Johnson’s return made it 42-7 at halftime. Mays suffered a gruesome leg injury while sliding at the end of a 3-yard run and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Mark Waid, listed as the No. 3 quarterback on the Youngstown State depth chart, was 5-of-10 passing for 51 yards and had eight carries for 79 yards, including a 27-yard TD run that capped the scoring with 8:17 to play.