When Youngstown State just wouldn’t got away Saturday, Western Illinois head coach Jared Elliott and the Leathernecks leaned on one of their most experienced players.
Senior quarterback Sean McGuire threw touchdown passes to four different players, passed for 324 yards and ran for another score to help Western (2-2) start the Missouri Valley Football Conference season 2-0 with a 45-38 Homecoming win in Macomb.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our veteran quarterback,” Elliott told WRMS radio. “Sean McGuire has proven time and time again that he’s a winner. We played a very good defense that we knew we had to be aggressive (against) and take some shots. Sean did a tremendous job of playing with his eyes and taking what they gave him.”
McGuire’s big day moved him into a tie for WIU’s career TD pass record with 62.
The quarterback’s three-yard scoring pass to defensive lineman Khalen Saunders in the third quarter put WIU up 30-10. However, the Penguins (1-3) scored a pair of touchdowns in just over 8 minutes to trim the lead to only six points.
About 3 minutes later, McGuire connected with Isaiah Lesure on a 30-yard scoring pass. Two plays later, WIU linebacker Quentin Moon forced a fumble that McGuire turned into a 32-yard TD pass to running back Clint Ratkovich and a 45-24 lead.
YSU scored twice in the final 4 minutes and piled up 418 passing yards against the Leathernecks.
5 Stats That Stood Out
10 – Team-high tackles for WIU linebacker Quentin Moon and defensive back Eric Carrera.
11.2 – Yards per carry for WIU senior running back Steve McShane, who piled up 134 rushing yards on 12 carries.
55 – Total rushing yards for Youngstown State, less than 2 yards per carry.
99 – Career high receiving yardage total for Lesure.
3,080 – Career all-purpose yards for McShane, who moved into ninth all-time in WIU history this week.
Western Illinois at Illinois State, 2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 6, at Normal.