PORTLAND, Ore. — Garrett Safron threw for a school record 554 yards and accounted for six touchdowns to help rally Sacramento State to a 43-42 win at Portland State on Saturday at JELD-WEN Field.
The Hornets improved to 5-6 overall and 4-3 in Big Sky Conference games while accumulating several offensive records. The Vikings dropped to 6-5 overall and 3-4 in league games.
Trailing 42-37, the Hornet defense stopped DJ Adams on 4th-and-inches at the 15-yard line with 1:39 remaining. Safron then orchestrated an 8-play drive which covered 85 yards culminating with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Hikutini with 30 seconds remaining to give the team its first lead since 3-0.
Osagie Odiase sealed the contest when he intercepted Collin Ramirez along the sideline on the ensuing possession
Safron was 34-of-50 for 554 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 42 yards and pair of touchdowns. During the day, he set the school record for single-game yardage, set the school single-season record for attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns as well as the career touchdown record (52).
The junior completed passes to 11 different receivers, including Shane Harrison (nine receptions for 138 yards), Morris Norrise (seven for 126) and DeAndre Carter (five for 133) who became the first trio of Sacramento State receivers to each surpass 100 yards in a game in school history.
Also among those who caught passes was Austin Dotson. The senior, who had not had a reception this season, made a diving catch in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to trim PSU's lead to 42-37. Dotson later added a 19-yard reception during the final drive of the game.
Portland State also had its own set of impressive offensive numbers as the Vikings amassed 713 yards of total offense. Adams rushed for 249 yards and five touchdowns on 26 attempts to lead the way. Ramirez completed 17-of-34 passes for 272 yards.
Sacramento State led 3-0 following a 24-yard field goal from Brad Cornish just 4:26 into the game. Adams scored his first TD on a 9-yard run midway through the first quarter and added a 1-yard dive with 6:21 left in the second.
The Hornets answered back with a 10-yard pass to a wide open Norrise with 29 seconds remaining. However, PSU used a double pass to gain 50 yards and Victor Dean caught a 14-yard jump ball as the half expired to give the team a 21-10 lead at the break.
The touchdown the Hornets scored was their first of four consecutive drives and six of seven. Safron rushed for two scores in the third quarter, the first coming on a 1-yard sneak and the second on a 16-yard run around the right end. He then hit Carter for a 78-yard touchdown pass up the right sideline where Carter was able to break a shoe-string tackle attempt and outrun the defender.
In the second half, Sacramento State punted just one time while accumulating 473 yards and scoring five touchdowns.
Dexter Alcala led the Hornets with a career high 17 tackles. Todd Davis added 12.
The Hornets host UC Davis in the 60th Causeway Classic on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Notes: DeAndre Carter's touchdown tied Mike Carter's school record of 14 from 1969…Umpire Vic Winnek left the game in second quarter with possible broken nose…the win was the just the second for Sacramento State in Portland since 1986…Safron now owns the top two single-game yardage totals in school history…his previous high of 412 came against Montana.