DEFENSE WINS THE BATTLE IN SECOND SCRIMMAGE OF THE SPRING
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With eight returning starters, including several all-conference selections returning, the Sacramento State offense has showed its muscle throughout spring ball. In the second team scrimmage on Saturday, the defense flexed back.
The defense combined to intercept two passes, recover a fumble, force several others and had eight three-and-outs. The unit also put pressure on Hornet quarterbacks throughout the scrimmage, resulting in three sacks and a handful of tackles-for-loss.
"I thought the defense stepped up to the challenge and had more energy," Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "They played physical and fast, which is what we ask of them, and they were ball hawks today.
"We (the offense) did not do a good job managing the football."
After a pair of three-and-outs started the game, the offense began its third series at its own 30-yard line and moved the ball down the field behind a 13-yard pass to Chase Deadder and a 17-yard strike to Morris Norrise from Tommy Edwards. However, the drive ended when Edwards' pass was rushed by a blitz and Kyle Monson won the ball in the air for and interception.
The defense continued its strong play with two more three-and-outs before the offense found the end zone for the first time. Redshirt freshman Garret Safron and senior Curtis Shaw accounted for all 45 yards of the 5-play drive. Shaw highlighted the drive with a dazzling 20-yard sprint down the left sideline which set up a 5-yard rush around the right for Safron's touchdown.
The second touchdown came two series later when Edwards hit Deadder for 17-yard diving touchdown in the back corner of the end zone on 4th-and-2. Deadder, who was the team's leading receiver, had to leave the game after the after landing awkwardly on his shoulder.
A pair of field goals from redshirt freshman Jason Diniz added more points for the offense. Diniz was first successful from 37 yards before make one from 43.
The defense bounced back, forcing turnovers on two of the next three drives. Corey Vanderbeek first gathered in a tipped pass from Dominic Carmazzi with a diving interception just outside the end zone. The second turnover came on a botched handoff from true freshman Jake Geringer and redshirt freshman Ron Douglas. The ball was recovered by redshirt freshman Marques White.
The final series put the offense in a 2-minute drill. Safrom moved the team at the start of the drive but then had three consecutive passes broken up by Osagie Odiase, Evander Wilkins and Jeff Badger.
Overall, Edwards led the QBs with 72 passing yards on 5-of-10 with an interception. Deadder was the leading receiver with 50 yards on three grabs. Shaw had 29 rushing yards and Douglas rushed for 28.
The spring practice session wraps up this week with sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The spring game will take place on Saturday, April 23, at Hornet Stadium at 10 a.m.
PASSING: Edwards 5-10-1-72-1; Safron 4-10-0-72-0; Geringer 1-2-0-21-0; Carmazzi 1-4-1-9-0.
RUSHING: Shaw 5-29; Douglas 3-28; McCowan 2-10; Croxdale 2-9; Tezanos-Pinto 5-9; Safron 10-0, TD; Edwards 1-(-1); Carmazzi 5-(-5); Geringer 1-(-6).
RECEIVING: Deadder 3-50, TD; Norrise 4-41; Bobak 1-21; Heaslet 1-9; Hendershott 1-8.