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Pitt stomps Youngstown State

| Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009

Freshman tailback Dion Lewis rushed for 129 yards and scored three touchdowns as Pitt routed Youngstown State, 38-3, on Saturday at Heinz Field in the 2009 season opener.

Lewis had scoring runs of 16 and 1 yards, and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bill Stull late in the first half.

Stull completed 11 of 16 pass attempts for 123 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tino Sunseri, who made his debut midway through the third quarter, completed five of eight passes for 80 yards and one touchdown, a 6-yarder to Aundre Wright, to give Pitt a 38-3 lead with 12:05 to play.

One year after losing to Bowling Green in the season opener, Pitt (1-0) was never threatened against the Division I-AA Penguins.

The Pitt defense recorded six sacks and held Youngstown State to 46 rushing yards on 35 carries. Senior linebacker Adam Gunn had a team-high eight tackles and junior defensive end Jabaal Sheard added five tackles and a sack. Junior safety Dom DeCicco and Ricky Gary each had an interception for Pitt.

Youngstown State quarterback Brandon Summers completed 11 of 22 passes for 113 yards and two interceptions.

The Panthers led 21-3 at halftime and used their defense to dominate the Penguins in the second half. On its first four possessions of the second half, Youngstown State (0-1) managed six total yards, three punts and one interception.

The Panthers took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on Lewis' 16-yard touchdown run. Lewis burst through a hole along the left side, juked sophomore cornerback Randy Louis and raced into the end zone untouched.

After Youngstown State's Stephen Blose kicked a 48-yard field goal that capped a 16-play Penguin drive, Pitt needed five plays to drive 63 yards, going ahead 14-3 on Lewis' 1-yard plunge.

Lewis had set up the touchdown with runs of 28 and 25 yards.

Facing a fourth and one from its own 36 with about four minutes to play in the first half, Youngstown State opted to punt. The Panthers drove 61 yards on eight plays, scoring on Stull's 3-yard swing pass to Lewis for a touchdown with 1:05 to play in the first half.

Lewis carried five times for minus-three yards in the second half.

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