SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Jaden Johnson threw for a pair of touchdowns and Celdon Manning ran for 99 yards and Missouri State beat Youngstown State 21-10 Saturday to earn at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title.
For the FCS 15th-ranked Bears (5-4, 5-1), the win marks the first conference title since 1990. The Bears put together a 5-1 spring record and now will await to see if they earned their way into the 16-team playoff.
First-year coach Bobby Petrino inherited team that went 1-10 in 2019 and established 21 losing seasons since the Idaho Vandals beat the Bears in the 1990 playoffs. Petrino was the head offensive coach for that Vandals team.
On Saturday, after the Penguins took a 3-0 lead on Colten McFadden’s 38-yard field goal with 8:21 before halftime, Jeremiah Wilson ran it from 2-yards out to give the Bears the lead for good after a 15-play, 85-yard drive that took six-and-a-half minutes to complete.
Missouri State took control in the third when Johnson connected on scoring passes of 8 and 31 yards to Damoriea Vick for a 21-3 advantage.
The Penguins (1-6, 1-6) closed the game’s scoring when Joe Craycraft threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dra Rusthon with 8:40 left.
Craycraft threw for 100 yards and Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 100 yards on 20 carries for Youngstown State.
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