YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) Nathan Mays completed just 10 passes but four of them went for touchdowns and Joe Alessi ran for 156 yards and two scores as Youngstown State roughed up Western Illinois 59-14 on Saturday.
Alessi raced 44 yards for a score to give the Penguins (5-3, 1-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference) a 7-0 lead just 1:10 into the game. The Leathernecks (0-8, 0-4) knotted the score at 7 on their first possession when Connor Sampson hit Clint Ratkovich for a 33-yard TD.
Alessi scored on a 56-yard run to give Youngstown State the lead and Jermiah Braswell caught a 40-yard scoring strike from Mays and a 54-yarder from backup QB Joe Craycraft to put the Penguins up 28-7 after one quarter. Mays sandwiched a pair of TD passes - a 1-yarder to Christian Turner and a 39-yarder to Kendric Mallory - around a Colten McFadden field goal for a 45-7 halftime lead.
Mays' 25-yard TD toss to Miles Joiner and Braxton Chapman's 2-yard TD run stretched the Penguins' lead to 59-7 after three quarters.
Sampson ended YSU's 52-point run with a 4-yard TD pass to Ratkovich in the fourth quarter.
Mays completed 10 of 17 passes for 182 yards. Chapman added 62 yards and a score on 13 carries as the Penguins piled up 248 of their 524 total yards on the ground.
Sampson completed 15 of 27 passes for 139 yards and two TDs. The Leathernecks were held to 260 yards of offense.