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Anthony Chiusano | | December 17, 2016

Rader makes amazing TD grab to send YSU to title game

The FCS play of the year came in the second semifinal game of the weekend, courtesy of Youngstown State tight end Kevin Rader.

Trailing by four points at the 8-yard line with just six seconds left on the clock, the Penguins had one final shot at reaching the end zone to knock off No. 2 seed Eastern Washington and continue their unlikely run to the FCS championship game. YSU quarterback Hunter Wells took the snap out of a shotgun formation and delivered a perfectly-thrown strike to the middle of the end zone to a crossing Rader.

With a defensive back shadowing him all the way, Rader stuck out his right hand to snag it one-handed, stuck it to the back of the defender's back and maintained possession to the ground as the referee signaled for a touchdown. Somehow the ball did not come loose, and after an official review, the score stood with one second left on the clock.

RELATED: FCS semifinals roundup | Bracket

The catch showed shades of Ohio State's Noah Brown's touchdown catch off the back of an Oklahoma defender earlier this season that also dropped jaws. But the situation behind Rader's catch is unrivaled.

The touchdown gave the Penguins a 40-38 lead with one second left in the semifinals matchup. On the ensuing PAT attempt, YSU opted for a quarterback kneel to avoid any failed PAT attempt that could be brought the other way for two points for the Eagles. YSU then secured its victory on the final kickoff after EWU's attempt at gaining ground on a series of laterals was stopped short.

The victory lands YSU its first national title game appearance in 17 years. The Penguins will face No. 4 seed James Madison, who defeated five-time defending champion North Dakota State, on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.



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