OFFENSE ERUPTS IN SPRING GAME
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football team concluded its spring practice with the annual Spring Game on Saturday at Hornet Stadium. The offense scored five touchdowns and made a field goal in its nine drives while the defense came up with an interception and a fourth-down stop.
Garrett Safron and Nnamdi Agude had an early connection as the pair hooked up for three completions for a total of 60 yards over the first five plays. The last catch took the ball to the 8-yard line before the defense held resulting in the offense settling for a 26-yard field goal.
Redshirt freshman Daniel Kniffin then came on at quarterback and threw a pair of 70-yard touchdown passes on his first two attempts. The first was thrown to Shane Harrison who caught the pass about 40 yards down the middle field and was able to separate himself from the defender. Harrison then broke up the right sideline to find the end zone. On the next play, the defense did not pick up Justin Cox on a slant route and the junior darted the remaining distance for the touchdown.
"Daniel did some nice things today," Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "He's had a lot of experience this spring which is the best way to learn. I also felt like our receivers made some plays."
After the defense forced a punt, the offense scored their third touchdown when Safron connected with Dalton Hunkle for a 13-yard pass to cap a six-play, 45-yard drive. The defense responded when Jaycee Totty met De'Jon Coleman in the backfield on 4th-and-1 on the next series.
With the offense starting on the defense's 25-yard line, the unit was able to score two touchdowns on the next two drives. The first came on a 2-yard rush from Coleman which was setup by a pass interference call in the end zone. The second was a 2-yard pass from Kniffin to tight end Stone Sander.
The final sequence of the day placed the offense in a two-minute drill which began at their own 30-yard line. With Safron at quarterback, the team was able to pick up a pair of first downs before Darnell Sankey intercepted Safron on the final play of the day.
"I thought the defense was able to make some big plays at critical times," Sperbeck said. "They fell behind early but kept fighting throughout the scrimmage.
Kniffin was an efficient 4-for-4 for 149 yards and three touchdowns while Safron finished at 11-of-16 for 139 yards and a TD. Harrison led all receivers with 105 yards on four catches. Four Hornet running backs and the two quarterbacks combined to rush for 20 yards and a score.
One of the few negative items of the day was the fact that the offense and defense combined to commit eight penalties.
"We were a little sloppy at times," Sperbeck said. "We asked the officials to really tighten up today so we could get a look like we'd see in the year."
Kniffin 4-4-0-149-3; Safron 11-16-1-139-1.
Safron 2-8; Coleman 2-5, TD; Kellermann 2-3; Warren 3-3; Robinson 5-1; Kniffin 2-0.
Harrison 4-105, TD: Agude 4-66; Broadnax 2-21; Cox 1-70, TD; Hunkle 1-13, TD; Warren 1-7; Robinson 1-4; Sander 1-2, TD.
Sankey INT, Alvaro Sack; Totty TFL, Alcala TFL.