SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State had its best offensive game in school history but the Hornets could not make a final stand as Montana State scored with four seconds left to claim a 59-56 victory at Hornet Stadium on Saturday night.
The win improved the 13th-ranked Bobcats to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State dropped to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in league games.
The Hornets shattered the school record for total yards, compiling 694 yards. That mark broke the previous record of 641 set in 2003 against Idaho State. Quarterback Garrett Safron threw for 463 yards and rushed for a career high 146 to finish with a school record 609 yards of total offense. That total places him fourth in Big Sky single-game history. Safron's 463 passing yards place him second in school history and he now owns the top three marks in Hornet history. The senior also threw for five touchdowns for the third time in his career and completed 25-of-39 passes with an interception.
Montana State's Dakota Prukop overcame an interception, which was returned for a touchdown by Joshua Armstrong on the second play of the game, to finish with 348 passing yards and 140 rushing yards. Prukop was 23-of-34 with five passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. The pair are believed to be the first in Big Sky history to each throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100.
Trailing 38-28 entering the fourth quarter, Sacramento State rallied to take the lead when Safron found DeAndre Carter for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 1:02 remaining in the game. During the 7-play, 79-yard drive, Safron completed 5-of-6 passes, including two for over 25 yards.
Montana State immediately moved into scoring position when Gunnar Brekke returned the kickoff 70 yards to the Hornet 30-yard line with 52 seconds and two MSU timeouts remaining. Prukop drove the Bobcats to the 3-yard line with 8 seconds left in the game before lofting the ball to the left side of the end zone where Mitchell Herbert was able to wrestle the ball away from the defender for the winning touchdown.
Armstrong put the Hornets on the board just 44 seconds into the game with his first career touchdown coming on a 31-yard interception. MSU answered to tie game when Prukop dashed 30 yards up the middle of the field less than three minutes later. Sacramento State needed only one play to retake the lead when Safron floated a ball to a wide open Agude for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
The scoring onslaught continued with Montana State adding two more scores in the first quarter. The first came with 8:34 left when Justin Paige caught a 48-yard TD pass. The second with 33 seconds left in the quarter on a 9-yard pass to Lee Perkins.
After a combined 35-point first quarter, neither team was able score for nearly 23 minutes before Montana State extended its lead to 28-14 when Jayshawn Gates caught a 45-yard touchdown pass with 8:42 left in the third quarter. Carter caught the first of his three TD passes on a 23-yard strike from Safron with 5:32 showing. Prukop ran for a 49-yard touchdown just 90 seconds later only to have Agude grab a 19-yard touchdown pass to make the score 35-28 in favor of the Bobcats. MSU posted the final points of the quarter with the help of a 74-yard kickoff return from Brekke which led to a 27-yard field goal by Luke Daly.
The explosive fourth quarter began when Carter caught a 32-yard pass for a score just 34 seconds into the period to pull the Hornets within three, 38-35. Prukop answered with a 10-yard run to provide some cushion but linebacker Darnell Sankey finished a 6-play drive with a 1-yard run for his second rushing touchdown of the season.
After a defensive stop, Sacramento State took its first lead (49-45) since the first quarter when Jordan Robinson ran up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown rush with 4:05 left in the game. That advantage held for only 94 seconds before Brekke caught a 59-yard touchdown pass on a wheel route to give MSU a 52-49 lead.
Carter finished with 11 receptions for a career high 184 yards. Carter also moved into a tie for first place in school history, matching Fred Amey's 27 career receiving touchdowns. Agude also set a career best with 197 yards on only six receptions (32.8 yards per catch). The pair each went over 150 yards for the second straight week and remain the only duo in school history to do so in a single game.
Defensively, Sankey led three Hornets in double figures with a career high 21 tackles. Henry Fernandez and Jaycee Totty added 11 and 10, respectively. Sankey's total is tied for the second most in school history trailing Ryland Wickman's 22 at Eastern Washington in 1997.
Sacramento State will next play at Northern Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 12:30 p.m. PDT. The team's next home game will be on Oct. 18 against Cal Poly on 6 p.m.
April 23, 2015 FOOTBALL HANDS OUT TEAM AWARDS AT BANQUET CELEBRATION
April 18, 2015 OFFENSE SURGES LATE TO WIN THE GREEN & GOLD GAME
April 17, 2015 GREEN & GOLD GAME TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY
March 6, 2015 FORMER HORNETS PUT ON SHOW FOR PRO SCOUTS
March 5, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS TO CLASS WITH SIGNING OF CAPOOCIA
February 25, 2015 HORNET FOOTBALL WEEKEND SET FOR APRIL 17-18
February 20, 2015 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2015 SCHEDULE
February 4, 2015 FOOTBALL COMPLETES SIGNING DAY WITH 32 TOTAL COMMITS
January 28, 2015 HORNET STUDENT-ATHLETES TOTAL 33 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 21, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS THREE DURING MIDYEAR PERIOD
January 15, 2015 DEANDRE CARTER TO PLAY IN NFLPA BOWL ON SATURDAY
December 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE SPORTS NETWORK
December 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2014 CARTER ADDS FCS ADA AWARD TO HIS RESUME
December 16, 2014 CARTER EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM TWO ORGANIZATIONS
December 10, 2014 JODY SEARS SHEDS INTERIM LABEL, EARNS THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
November 25, 2014 CARTER, CORNISH LEAD 14 SELECTIONS ON ALL-BIG SKY TEAMS
November 22, 2014 FOOTBALL WINS CAUSEWAY CLASSIC WITH 41-30 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 21, 2014 CAUSEWAY CLASSIC GAMEDAY INFO
November 21, 2014 FOOTBALL ALUMNI UPDATE
November 20, 2014 "RELAY OVER THE CAUSEWAY" TO DELIVER GAME BALL ON SATURDAY
November 18, 2014 CARTER NAMED FINALIST FOR THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD
November 18, 2014 61st CAUSEWAY CLASSIC UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL
November 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED BIG SKY SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 15, 2014 FOOTBALL STORMS BACK FOR 48-41 WIN OVER PORTLAND STATE
November 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SENIOR DAY THIS SATURDAY AGAINST PORTLAND STATE
November 10, 2014 CARTER NAMED FCS NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 8, 2014 RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCES HELP FOOTBALL TO 42-21 WIN
November 4, 2014 FOOTBALL TAKES ON SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
November 1, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT NO. 12 MONTANA, 31-13
October 28, 2014 WELL-RESTED FOOTBALL PLAY AT NO. 12 MONTANA ON SATURDAY
October 21, 2014 SANKEY NAMED TO BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
October 18, 2014 FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF
October 14, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING
October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL EARNS FIRST BIG SKY WIN, DOWNS UNC 43-38
October 7, 2014 FOOTBALL BACK ON THE ROAD AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 4, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS IN SHOOTOUT TO MONTANA STATE, 59-56
September 30, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE ON SATURDAY
September 27, 2014 FOOTBALL NOT ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH IDAHO STATE IN 44-24 LOSS
September 23, 2014 FOOTBALL BEGINS BIG SKY PLAY AT IDAHO STATE ON SATURDAY
September 20, 2014 FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY
September 16, 2014 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST MENLO ON SATURDAY
September 15, 2014 CORNISH NAMED NATIONAL, BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 13, 2014 FOOTBALL GETS RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES IN 42-31 WIN
September 9, 2014 FOOTBALL WELCOMES WEBER STATE FOR HOME OPENER
September 6, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT CALIFORNIA
September 2, 2014 FOOTBALL HEADS TO CAL ON SATURDAY
September 1, 2014 SANKEY NAMED BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 30, 2014 FOOTBALL ROLLS TO 49-13 WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
August 26, 2014 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON ON SATURDAY AT INCARNATE WORD
August 21, 2014 FOOTBALL TO HOST ALUMNI FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY
August 17, 2014 FOOTBALL HOLDS FIRST SCRIMMAGE AND BEE A HORNET
August 8, 2014 FAN BUS PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR FOOTBALL GAME AT CAL
July 16, 2014 KICKOFF TIMES SET FOR 2014 HOME FOOTBALL GAMES
July 14, 2014 DeANDRE CARTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY
July 3, 2014 BROADNAX NAMED TO CFPA TIGHT END WATCH LIST
July 1, 2014 CARTER EARNS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
June 23, 2014 TODD DAVIS SIGNS WITH THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
June 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED TO CFPA WIDE RECEIVER WATCH LIST
June 10, 2014 SAFRON NAMED TO CFPA QUARTERBACK WATCH LIST