YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Kurt Hess threw four touchdown passes and Youngstown State defeated Illinois State 24-17 on Saturday in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Hess, who has 11 touchdowns against only one interception in the first three games, threw to nine different receivers Saturday. Hess' 44-yard touchdown pass to Andre Barboza gave the Penguins (2-1) a 34-20 lead with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter.
Illinois State scored a touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Matt Brown to Marvon Sanders to cut the lead to 34-27 with 13:18 to play in the game. But the Redbirds were held to only one first down on their final four possessions.
The win gives Youngstown State an 11-10 edge in the series.
Brown, who tied a career record with five touchdown passes last week, threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns for the Redbirds (1-2).