FOOTBALL SACKS IDAHO STATE, 24-9; NASH BREAKS CAREER RECORD
Senior Zack Nash
became the all-time sacks leader at Sacramento State with 29.5
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Led by a school-record tying 10 sacks, including 5.0 from senior Zack Nash, the Sacramento State football team defeated Idaho State, 24-9, Saturday night at Hornet Stadium.
The defense pressured the high-powered Bengal passing attack throughout the game, limiting ISU to 182 passing yards and just 18 on the ground. The unit combined for 12 tackles-for-loss while its 10 sacks tied the school Div. I-era mark which was set at Portland State in 2007.
Individually, Nash had an encore performance from last year's effort at Idaho State. The Vacaville, Calif., native finished with 5.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles-for-loss. He remains the only Hornet to record five sacks in a game and is in a three-way tie for the TFL mark along with Dan Rooney (at Cal Poly in 1995). Nash also took sole possession of the Sacramento State career sack record with 29.5 moving past both Kelly Osborn (25.5) and Mike Brannon (27.5) during the evening.
Along with Nash, Sacramento State also received a pair of sacks from linebacker Jeff Badger and sacks from Todd Davis, Ryan McMahon and Evander Wilkins. Senior defensive end David Coleman also added his first career interception, stopping a drive inside the red zone and McMahon blocked a punt which led to a Hornet touchdown.
"The defense played an outstanding game tonight," Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "I'm really happy for Zack to be able to set the record and it was created by a total team effort."
A bizarre first quarter saw the Hornets fumble the opening kickoff resulting a 29-yard field goal from Brendon Garcia to put Idaho State on the board 45 seconds into the game. On the next drive, Sacramento State was stopped on 4th-and-goal from the ISU 2-yard line. The Bengals then went 3-and-out but attempted a fake punt from their own 6-yard line which fell incomplete giving the ball back to the Hornets. Sacramento State capitalized with a 5-yard strike from Garrett Safron to tight end DJ Maciel and then added a two-point conversion pass to T.J. Knowles to make the score 8-3 at the end of the first.
Things settled down in the second quarter where Garcia made a 32-yard field goal for the only points of the period. He then put the Bengals on top 9-8 with 6:37 to play in the third quarter with a 23-yard field goal.
After sitting out two series to start the second half, Safron re-entered the game and led the team on a 4-play 42-yard drive which was capped by his own 34-yard run around the right edge. He connected with Morris Norrise for the two-point conversion to make the score 16-9 heading into the fourth quarter.
Neither team was able to move the ball in the fourth until Safron found John Hendershott for a 40-yard completion late in the quarter. That catch took the ball to the 3-yard line where Bryan Hilliard found the end zone for his eighth career rushing TD against the Bengals in three games. Hilliard then dashed for the team's third two-point conversion of the game.
Nash sealed the game with a pair of sacks on Idaho State's last drive to break the school record.
Offensively, Sacramento State finished with 256 yards of total offense with Saffron rushing for a team high 74 yards and Hilliard contributing 35. The freshman completed 7-of-16 passes for 100 yards while Tommy Edwards was 1-for-6 for 13 yards. Hendershott led the receiving corps with three grabs for 58 yards.
Todd Davis led the team with 10 tackles and now has a team-high 86 on the season.
Kevin Yost was 22-of-38 for 182 yards and an interception before being replaced by Justin Arias in the fourth quarter. Rodrick Rumble, who leads the Football Championship Subdivision in receptions, finished with nine catches for 62 yards.
Linebacker A.J. Storms led all players with 20 tackles (nine solo) and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Sacramento State will close its season on Saturday, Nov. 19, against UC Davis in the 58th annual Pepsi Causeway Classic. The game will begin at 1:05 p.m. at Hornet Stadium.
NOTES: The game marked the return of coach Mike Kramer to Hornet Stadium. Kramer, who previously led Eastern Washington and Montana State, is now 9-3 against the Hornets…tight end T.J. Knowles caught a pass and a two-point conversion for his first receptions in a Hornet uniform…Osagie Odiase returned to the Hornet secondary after missing three games with a hamstring injury and produced nine tackles with two pass break-ups…in three career games against ISU, Hilliard now has 549 yards and eight touchdowns…the Hornet defense now has two games this season without allowing a touchdown (10-0 at Northern Colorado)…it marks the first time since 1994 that the team has held two teams under 10 points in the same year.