SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The Sacramento State football team closed out the home portion of its schedule with a 13-7 loss against 23rd-ranked Portland State, Saturday night at a soggy Hornet Stadium.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 4-6 overall and 4-4 in Big Sky Conference play. It also snapped the team’s two-game winning streak and ended the squad’s chances of an unprecedented third-straight win. Portland State kept its playoff hopes alive by improving to 7-4 overall and 6-2 in league games.
After a scoreless first quarter, linebacker Cyrus Mulitalo put the Hornets on top 7-0 with a 3-yard run up the middle. The touchdown was the first for Mulitalo during his career and capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive which also saw the Hornets convert on 4th-and-1.
The score stayed stagnant for the remainder of the first half, marking the first time since 2000 that Sacramento State has shut out its opponent in the opening two quarters.
Portland State came alive in the third quarter with 10 points to take the lead. The Vikings first scored on a 22-yard field goal from Eric Azorr. Portland State started the drive at its own 45-yard line after Mitch Lively’s punt was blocked by Matthis Gehring. PSU moved the ball to the 5-yard line but the defense held, forcing the Vikings to settle for the field goal.
After holding Sacramento State to a three-and-out on the next series, Portland State took the lead when Sawyer Smith found tight end Kevin McGlothen in the back of the end zone on a fourth down pass. On the play, the Vikings were facing 4th-and-goal. Smith faked the handoff and then rifled a pass to McGlothen who was ruled to have had one foot in bounds for the score.
Portland State’s momentum continued as Marcel Marquez was intercepted by Charles Manigo on the ensuing drive. Manigo returned the pick 17 yards to give PSU the ball near midfield. Running back Mu’Ammar Ali followed with eight rushes for 37 yards leading to a 27-yard field goal from Azorr to complete the game’s scoring.
The Hornets’ final chance at victory ended when Marquez was sacked on 4th-and-9 with just under a minute to play.
Both teams were led by their defenses. Portland State finished the game with 311 yards on 70 plays and the Vikings also dominated the time of possession (35:32-24:28). Sacramento State was limited to just 42 plays resulting in 183 yards.
Ali became just the second player to rush for over 100 yards against the Hornets this season. The senior tallied 140 yards on 30 carries. Smith finished the day 17-of-25 for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Marquez was 12-of-25 for 178 yards but was also intercepted twice. Seniors Jason Barnes and Andre Taylor each caught four passes for 81 and 64 yards, respectively. Seth McDaniels was the team’s leading rusher with 16 yards on five attempts.
Defensively, Mulitalo and Tyson Butler combined for 25 tackles from their linebacking spots. Mulitalo had 13 tackles to give him 114 on the season and Butler moved into the career top 10 at Sacramento State with 12 stops. Mulitalo also had four tackles-for-loss, including two sacks, and recovered a fumble.
Adam Hayward led Portland State with 10 sacks, 3.5 TFL, and three sacks. Overall, the Vikings tallied six sacks as a team.
The game marked the final time that Sacramento State''s 11 seniors played at Hornet Stadium. The list includes fifth-year seniors Kris Daniels and James Bogetti as well as four-year veterans Butler and Lively.
Sacramento State will end its season on Saturday, Nov. 18, against UC Davis in the 53rd Causeway Classic. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. at Toomey Field.