CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Kurt Hess passed for 258 yards and four touchdowns to lead Youngstown State to a grueling 28-27 comeback win over Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference opener Saturday night.
Youngstown (4-1, 1-0) trailed much of the game against the Salukis (2-3, 0-1) but took control in the fourth quarter, tying the score with under 2 minutes remaining on a goal-line fourth-and-one pass from Hess to Carson Sharbaugh. The extra point by Joey Cejudo gave the Penguins the lead and the win.
Southern Illinois left itself vulnerable to a Penguin comeback when Thomas Kinney missed the extra point kick following a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kory Faulkner to LaSteven McKinney at the end of the second quarter. Faulkner, who threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, also led the team in rushing with 71 yards.