SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football team started the 2018 season with a 55-7 convincing win over Saint Francis on Saturday at Hornet Stadium. The Hornets compiled 630 yards of total offense and had five different players score touchdowns in the game en route to the victory.
Sacramento State scored on just its third play of the game on a long run from Elijah Dotson and built a 31-0 lead at halftime. Dotson and fellow running back Ja'Narrick James each scored two touchdowns while receivers Pierre Williams and Andre Lindsey and running back Darnay Smith also scored. Senior kicker Devon Medeiros added a pair of field goals and made all seven of his extra points in the victory.
The 55 points were the most scored by the team in a season opener in program history. The seven touchdowns were also a school record in the first game of the year as was 10.7 yards per play (630 yards on 59 plays).
Sacramento State used nearly all of its rosters as three quarterbacks took snaps and the trio combined to go 20-of-26 for 402 yards and two touchdowns. Nine different players caught passes led by Lindsey and Jaelin Ratliff who each had four grabs in the first half. Lindsey finished with 108 yards and Ratliff had 94. The duo ranked first and second last season in the FCS in yards per reception.
Dotson, who also was limited to just one half of work, had 85 rushing yards with 73 coming on his touchdown run. Ja'Narrick James finished with 59 rushing yards and quarterback Jack Rice added 43.
Caelan Barnes led the defense with seven stops. Sacramento State had five tackles-for-loss, including sacks from Elijah Chambers and Josh Cooper.
The Hornets will next travel to San Diego State to take on the Aztecs on Sept. 8.
10:46 - Sacramento State took its first drive of the game and needed just three plays to find end zone. Elijah Dotson capped the drive with a 73-yard rush around the right edge for the longest rush of his career.
2:34 - Devon Medeiros made it 10-0 with his first field goal of the season. The Hornets moved 71 yards during the drive before settling for the 26-yard field goal.
13:44 - Freshman Pierre Williams recorded his first career touchdown catch to finish a 7-play, 63-yard drive. Williams hauled in a 1-yard fade to the right side of the end zone. He also had a 16-yard catch during the drive.
7:42 - Dotson found the end zone for the second time with a 4-yard rush up the middle to tie his career high for rushing touchdowns. Andre Lindsey had a 50-yard reception down the right side of the field to spark the series.
0:41 - Lindsey broke free again for a 35-yard score for the final points of the half. The catch also moved Lindsey over the century mark in the first half.
11:11 - Ja'Narrick James scored his first career rushing touchdown with a 4-yard plunge up the middle. Sacramento State had a 39-yard catch and run from Dewey Cotton during the series.
6:47 - Saint Francis got on the board with a 9-play, 85-yard drive which resulted in a touchdown. Brandon Ruffin caught three passes during the drive, including a 6-yard pass on the sideline of the end zone for the score.
3:54 - James scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with a 9-yard rush straight up the middle. John McGill and Williams started the series with catches of 28 and 24 yards, respectively.
14:16 - Medeiros made his second field goal of the game to push the lead to 48-7. The senior was good from 29-yards and has now made seven straight and 11 of his last 12 dating back to last season.
5:15 - Sacramento State scored its final points on a 5-yard rush from true freshman Darnay Smith. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Rice had a 37-yard rush to take the ball into the red zone. Rice also hit true freshman Jarrell Anderson for a 27-yard gain down the middle of the field.
Lindsey recorded his fifth 100-yard receiving game of his career…Thomson completed his first eight passes of the game…25 players were credited with at least one tackle.