OGDEN, Utah — Sacramento State scored a defensive touchdown and received a spark from its freshmen in a 26-14 loss to No. 4 Weber State on Saturday at Stewart Stadium. The Wildcat defense lived up to its billing, limiting the Hornets to 170 yards of total offense and 1-of-12 on third down.
WSU improved to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in Big Sky Conference games. The Hornets dropped to 2-7 overall and 0-6 in league play.
Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first half where Weber State took a 13-0 lead into halftime. The Hornets' best chance to score came on the opening drive but a 47-yard field goal was missed by punter Owen Hoolihan who was filling in for the injured Devon Medeiros. WSU scored the only points of the first quarter with a 42-yard field goal from Trey Tuttle and added to its lead with a 20-yard touchdown catch from Darryl Denby and another field goal from Tuttle.
The Wildcats added to their advantage on the opening drive of the second half when Rashid Shaeed caught a 20-yard pass from Jake Constantine. The Hornet defense gave Sacramento State its first points when freshman Armon Bailey sacked Constantine and jarred the ball loose. Defensive end Leonard Hazewood IV picked up the ball in stride and cruised 33 yards into the end zone for the team's first defensive score of the year.
After Josh Davis ended the third quarter with a touchdown, the Hornets scored the only points of the fourth quarter on their final drive of the game. Freshman Hamish McClure came on in relief of Wyatt Clapper for the series. McClure ran for 18 yards and also completed one pass for 11 yards. He scored on a 13-yard rush for his first career points.
The game marked a battle between two of the best running backs in the Big Sky. Elijah Dotson had his streak of five consecutive 100-yard games snapped as he was held to 35 yards on 18 carries. Josh Davis rushed for 129 yards on 18 attempts before leaving with an injury.
Pierre Williams led the Sacramento State receivers with three catches for 46 yards. True freshman Tao McClinton recorded his first two career receptions and finished with 26 yards.
Safety Caelan Barnes led all players with nine tackles. Linebacker Malcolm Thomas finished with eight stops and Mister Harriel, Immanuel Anderson, Allen Perryman and Daron Bland each had seven. Bland also grabbed his first career interception and returned the ball 47 yards up the sideline.
Sacramento State will return home next week to host Northern Arizona in its final home game of the year. The game will start at 6 p.m. and will have a ceremony honoring the team's seniors prior to the start.
2:48 - After Sacramento State missed a 47-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game, Weber State took a 3-0 lead on a 42-yarder from Trey Tuttle. The big play during the series came on 3rd-and-6 from near midfield where the Hornets appeared to have a breakup on the pass attempt but were flagged for holding giving WSU an automatic first down.
13:46 - Weber State turned to the air during its first possession of the second half. The Wildcats found Isiah Jackson for a 31-yard completion in the middle of the field to take the ball to the Hornet 20. One play later, Darryl Denby outraced the Sacramento State secondary to the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD reception.
8:56 - Tuttle added his second field goal of the game with a 35-yard attempt midway through the second quarter. Weber State played senior quarterback Rathen Ricedorff during the series. He completed 3-of-5 passes for 18 yards.
10:41 - Weber State drive 80 yards on the opening drive of the second half. The Wildcats gained at least four yards on the first seven plays of the series. Clay Moss then broke free for a 21-yard rush up the middle to bring the ball to the Hornet 20. Jake Constantine then found Rashid Shaheed on a pass to the right. Shaheed spun free of the tackle for the touchdown. WSU faked the PAT and Tuttle's two-point conversion pass fell incomplete to make the score 19-0.
6:56 - Sacramento State got on the board with its first defensive score of the year. Freshman Armon Bailey recorded his first career sack when he drilled Constantine on a blitz and forced a fumble. Leonard Hazewood IV scooped up the ball and travelled the remaining 33 yards for his first career touchdown.
4:21 - Weber State immediately answered with a 6-play, 72-yard drive for a touchdown. Josh Davis started the drive with a 29-yard rush and was aided by a facemask call against the Hornets. Weber State later drove inside the 5 and, after a couple of stops, went back to Davis who scored on a 3-yard rush.
0:58 - True freshman quarterback Hamish McClure took the reins of the offense for the final drive and orchestrated a 10-play, 47-yard touchdown drive. McClure had several runs during the series and also completed his first pass on an 11-yard strike to fellow freshman Pierre Williams. A roughing the passer penalty against WSU set up a 13-yard touchdown rush for McClure who eluded a couple of tacklers on the way to the end zone.