SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The future of Sacramento State football was on display in the team's first scrimmage on Saturday at Hornet Stadium. The Hornets ran 60 plays during the controlled practice which placed the offense on different spots on the field.
Sacramento State used five quarterbacks who combined to complete passes to nine receivers. There were also eight players who carried the ball during the day. While many players were given the opportunity to play in the scrimmage, several notable players did not compete in the action including receivers Isiah Hennie and Jaelin Ratliff as well as quarterback Kolney Cassel.
The majority of the snaps at quarterback were shared between transfers Kevin Thomson and Wyatt Clapper. Thomson started quickly, hitting Johnnie Rucker for a 24-yard completion on the opening play of the day. He finished 4-of-11 for 54 yards but was plagued by a couple of drops by intended receivers. Clapper was 5-of-6 for 58 yards and also rushed for 14 yards on three attempts. The freshmen trio of Jack Rice (3-of-4, 23 yards), Tristen Meyer (3-of-4, 15 yards) and Roman Ale (2-of-5, 14 yards) were each given at least one series leading the offense.
Rucker was the team's leading receiver, grabbing four passes for 48 yards. Nolan Merker, who played quarterback a year ago, had three receptions for 23 yards. Tight end Stone Sander had one of the longer catches during the scrimmage with a 21-yard grab up the middle of the field.
The ground game featured many new faces as all eight ball carriers did not have a rushing attempt for the Hornets last season. True freshmen Elijah Dotson and Christian Erickson each found the end zone for the team's two touchdowns. Dotson scored on a 3-yard rush to cap an 80-yard scoring drive on the fourth series of the day. Erickson pounded his way in from 5-yards out.
The defense did not create a turnover but had several pass breakups. Dre Terrell was credited with PBUs on back-to-back plays early in the action. Senior Earnest Jenkins provided a jarring hit to break up a screen pass to force a 3rd-and-10 for the offense. Freshman linebacker Miguel Garcia had a tackle-for-loss on 2nd-and-goal which eventually led to the defense getting a turnover on downs to plays later.
Sacramento State will have Sunday off before the team returns to the practice field on Monday morning. The team's first game will be on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Idaho. The Hornets' home opener will come on Saturday, Sept. 9 against Incarnate Word.
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