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First Practice in Pads Ends with a Boot

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Expectations were not the only things rising on Thursday for the Sacramento State football team. The Hornets participated in their first double day of the season, including an evening session in full pads.

If two practices surrounded by position meetings was not enough, the team also had to battle temperatures which soared into triple digits. Officially, the high for Thursday was 104 degrees but little side effects were seen on the field. The sports medicine staff pushed fluids throughout the evening practice and the players were provided cold towels in the middle of the two-hour session to ease the sting.

Despite the heat and the grind of training camp, senior linebacker Jeff Badger was excited to don the pads.

"It was great, we've been waiting all summer long for this," Badger said. "It's real exciting to get the pads on and hit someone. (The defense) is always ready to come out and try to get after the offense."

The rivalry between the offense and defense was visible in the finals segments of the evening practice but it was a kicker who brought the team together. After the two sides each claimed a victory in the first drives, junior Edward Ruhnke split the uprights from 52-yards out to end the night.

"Overall, I think the first week has been good and we are coming together as a team," Badger said. "We definitely still have some things to work on but it is a good start."

The defensive play of the night came from senior defensive end John Bloomfield who dropped into coverage to make a leaping interception on a short pass attempt from Garrett Safron.

Junior receiver Morris Norrise hauled in a long pass from Safron for a 30-yard touchdown (give or take a yard or two) down the right sideline during the team period.

The team will remain in full pads on Friday morning (9-11:15) as well as the early practice on Saturday (9-11 a.m.) and on Sunday (9:45-12).