YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Martin Ruiz rushed for 199 yards on 21 carries to lead Youngstown State to a 24-14 win over Western Illinois Saturday.
The Penguins (7-1, 4-0 Missouri Valley Conference) have now won seven straight conference games over two seasons.
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied 14-all. A 33-yard Joey Cejudo field goal early in the fourth put Youngstown State up 17-14. Western Illinois (3-5, 1-3) drove to Youngstown State's 23 on the next possession, where Nathan Knuffman missed a 40-yard field goal. The Penguins followed that with a 77-yard scoring drive as Kurt Hess found Nate Adams from five yards out for the final score. Ruiz had a 57-yard run on that drive.
Ruiz opened the scoring for Youngstown State when he broke for a 60-yard touchdown run midway of the first quarter. The Leathernecks tied it 7-all in the second quarter on Trenton Norvell's one yard run.