FOOTBALL USES BALANCED ATTACK TO KNOCK OFF PORTLAND STATE, 31-14
PORTLAND, Ore. — For the first time since 1985, Sacramento State walked out of Portland victorious after claiming a 31-14 victory over Portland State in a Big Sky Conference football game on Saturday.
The Hornets (1-3, 1-1 Big Sky) won in Portland for just the third time in school history and claimed their first win in the Rose City since before any of the players on the current roster were born.
On Saturday, Jason Smith threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns, Terrance Dailey rushed for 111 yards and a score, and John Hendershott brought in 117 receiving yards to spark the offense. The defense also did its part, forcing three turnovers and limiting the Viking ground game to minus-2 rushing yards.
Things started well for the Hornets from the opening drive. The defense forced a 3-and-out to get things going and the offense followed with a 13-play, 52-yard drive which ended with a 15-yard pass to Brett Willis midway through the first quarter.
After PSU posted consecutive field goals, the Hornets went back to the fade route as Smith found Dylan Lane for the first of his two touchdowns with 57 seconds left in the first half.
Sacramento State dominated the second half, scoring the first 17 points and keeping PSU off the board for the opening 27 minutes.
The Hornets’ first score of the third quarter came on a 5-yard pass to Lane with 11:22 showing. Dailey then added his first touchdown as a Hornet with a 2-yard run eight minutes later.
Sacramento State sealed the game with a 27-yard field goal from Chris Diniz with 5:44 left to increase its lead to 31-6. Portland State’s lone touchdown of the contest came with 3:00 remaining when Nevin Lewis made a great shoe-top catch on a pass from Drew Hubel. Aaron Woods then caught the two-point conversion to end the scoring.
Dailey and Sam McCowan took all the carries for the Hornets in place of the injured Evander Wilkins. Dailey carried the ball 34 times en route to his second 100-yard game this season. His 111 rushing yards were the most allowed by Portland State this season and came a week after PSU held Weber State’s All-American Trevyn Smith to just 31 yards. McCowan was also active with nine carries for 41 yards.
Smith completed 17-of-29 passes without an interception. The junior’s favorite target was Lane who grabbed a career-high seven passes for 73 yards and two scores. Hendershott ranked second on the team with five receptions and his 117 receiving yards were also a career high. Five other Hornets had one catch, including Anthony Fletcher who grabbed a 29-yard pass during the team’s final scoring drive.
Defensively, Christian Clark tallied a career-best three sacks for a total of 18 yards and played a big factor in the team limiting PSU to negative rushing yards. Nate Jones, who made his first start at corner, and Peter Buck tied for the team high with seven tackles. Zach Schrader added six tackles and also intercepted a pass, Deionte Gordon forced a fumble and Marquese Smith intercepted a pass for Sacramento State’s other turnovers.
The Hornets’ special teams were also near perfect. Punter Augie Heath had seven punts with a net average of 38.6 yards and also placed five punts inside the 20-yard line.
Sacramento State returns home to face Idaho State on Saturday, Oct. 10. The game, which will kick off at 2:05 p.m., serves as the University’s Homecoming game.