Baker leads S. Illinois’ return over Youngstown St.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Nic Baker threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another and Southern Illinois overcame Youngstown State’s fast start for a 30-22 comeback win over the Penguins on Saturday.

It was the first win for the Salukis (3-1, 2-1 Missouri Valley Conference) in Youngstown since the 2012 season. Offensively, the 22-point effort of the Penguins (0-3, 0-3) was its best of the season after having scored a single touchdown entering Saturday’s contest.

On its final drive, Youngstown State put together a nine-play, 55-yard drive getting to the Southern Illinois 25 before turning it over on downs with 55 seconds remaining.

The Penguins built leads of 12-0 and 19-7 before Southern Illinois staged its rally. Baker ran it in from 17 yards 25 seconds before halftime reducing the deficit to six after the missed point after attempt. The Salukis emerged from halftime with Baker leading a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with his 2-yard touchdown pass to Justin Strong for a 20-19 lead and they led the rest of the way.

Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 124 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns for the Penguins.

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