QUICK START CARRIES FOOTBALL TO 45-17 VICTORY AT IDAHO STATE
Zach Nash set the Sacramento State single-season record for sacks against Idaho State.
POCATELLO, Idaho — Led by an amazing first quarter, the Sacramento State football team jumped to a quick lead and never relinquished in a 45-17 victory at Idaho State on Saturday.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 6-4 overall and 5-3 in Big Sky Conference play. The victory assured the team of a winning season and tied Sacramento State's best Big Sky record since the program joined the league.
The Hornets wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, scoring on its opening drive with a 2-yard pass from Jeff Fleming to tight end Reese Heaslet. After the defense forced a fumble, Fleming connected with Chase Deadder for a 29-yard touchdown pass to put the team ahead 14-0 just seven minutes into the game.
A 47-yard field goal by Brandon Garcia made the score 14-3 before the Hornets found the end zone for a third time in the opening quarter. The six play, 66-yard drive was capped by a 17-yard pass from receiver Morris Norrise to Heaslet.
In the quarter, the Hornets outgained ISU 241-7 and held the ball for over 10 minutes.
Sacramento State continued its onslaught in the second quarter with an 8-yard pass from Fleming to Deadder to make the score, 28-3, at the break.
The Hornets made several changes in the second half, including quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson taking over under center. The senior saw his first action since injuring his ankle in the season opener at Stanford.
Kyle Monson added to the team's lead midway through the quarter when he intercepted Kyle Morris and returned the ball 68 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Bethel-Thompson then connected with Stephen Tezanos-Pinto for a juggling catch just inside the front corner of the end zone for the team's final touchdown.
As a team, Sacramento State finished with 289 yards while the Bengals amassed 235. Fleming, Bethel-Thompson and Norrise combined to complete 26-of-36 passes for 289 yards and five touchdowns. Fleming was 15-of-19 for 207 yards and three scores with one interception. Bethel-Thompson finished 10-for-16 for 65 yards with one score and a pick.
Deadder was the leading receiver with six grabs for 102 yards and two touchdowns. In all nine receivers had at least one catch, including tight ends Heaslet and DJ Maciel who caught a career-high four and three passes, respectively.
Jake Croxdale was the team's leading rusher, picking up 69 yards on 21 carries. The junior took the majority of the snaps after Sam McCowan left the contest with an ankle injury in the first half.
Defensively, the Hornets had nine tackles-for-loss for a combined 37 yards. Defensive end Zack Nash was credited with five TFLs, including three sacks.
Sacramento State closes out its regular season on Saturday, Nov. 20, with the annual Causeway Classic against UC Davis. The game kicks of at 4:07 p.m. from Aggie Stadium.