WHITE RALLIES TO BEAT GREEN ON FINAL DRIVE OF SPRING GAME

WHITE RALLIES TO BEAT GREEN ON FINAL DRIVE OF SPRING GAME

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A year can make a big difference in the development of a football team. Twelve months ago, Sacramento State wrapped up spring ball with a disappointing final scrimmage where the offense threw a pair of interceptions for touchdowns and the team headed to summer with more questions than answers.

A lot of those questions were answered during the fall where the team rallied behind quarterback Kevin Thomson and offensive coordinators Luke Huard and Paul Wulff to become one of the most potent attacks in the FCS. The defense showed a newfound ability to create turnovers, get to the quarterback and force turnovers which helped the team to a 7-4 overall record and a school record 6-2 mark in Big Sky games.

The 2018 spring practice concluded on Friday night with an abbreviated game in which the White team rallied for a 17-14 win over the Green at Hornet Stadium. For the first time in recent memory, the team was divided into two squads which competed in a game format over four 10 minute quarters.

"There were no balls on the ground and I really liked what I saw on both sides of the ball," Sacramento State head coach Jody Sears said following the scrimmage. "It was nice to see guys make some plays.

"We can still grow and work on our stability but it's nice to have the parts. We need to continue to mature and push ourselves beyond what we know."

Thomson led the Green team during the opening drive and completed his first three pass attempts for 41 yards. However, the White team was able to force a pair of incompletions to stop the series. After the Green team limited the White to nine yards, Thomson capped a 70-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Green a 7-0 lead. The quarterback also had a 22-yard rush during the drive and completed both his pass attempts for 16 yards.

With redshirt freshman Tristan Meyer under center, the White team posted its first points on a 38-yard field goal from Israel Farfan on the ensuing drive. Redshirt freshman Pierre Williams had three catches for a combined 26 yards and fellow redshirt Dewey Cotton added a 9-yard grab.

The third quarter began with the White team taking the lead on a 10-play, 55-yard drive which resulted in a touchdown. Running backs Ja'Narrick James and Montaz Thompson shared most of the duties during the series. James broke through for a 20-yard TD run to give the White team a 10-7 advantage.

Wyatt Clapper, who started the game for the White, moved to the Green team in the second half and swung the lead back to the Green following his 21-yard touchdown run. Alexis Robinson had catches of 13 and 30-yard yards to set up the score which came on the first play of the fourth quarter.

With one drive remaining in the game, the Green team looked to have the contest in hand after Marcus Bruce sacked Meyer for a 10-yard loss on the opening play. A false start and incomplete pass set up a 3rd-and 25 where Meyer found tight end Calvin Grover over the middle of the field. The Green team believed Grove was down but he rambled another 40 yards before being stopped at the 2-yard line. Thompson dove in from 1-yard out for the final points.

The defense was credited with five sacks during the game. Along with Bruce, Killian Rosko, David Perales and Josh Cooper were each credited with a sack.

PASSING STATS
Kevin Thomson, 5-7-0-57-0; Wyatt Clapper 4-7-0-43-0; Tristan Meyer 8-12-0-105-0.

RUSHING STATS
Ja'Narrick James 20-33, TD; Kevin Thomson 4-26, TD; Wyatt Clapper 3-26, TD; Isaiah Gable 2-14; Pierre Williams 1-8; Elijah Dotson 2-7; Montaz Thompson 5-10, TD; Tristan Meyer 2-1.

RECEIVING STATS
Calvin Grover 1-73; Alexis Robinson 2-43; Pierre Williams 3-26; Johnnie Rucker 1-21; Jaelin Ratliff 2-23; Ja'Narrick James 1-11; Montaz Thompson 1-11; Dewey Cotton 2-9; BJ Perkinson 1-8; Nolan Merker 1-5.