SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Garrett Safron completed 17-of-25 passes for 251 yards and five touchdowns and Darnell Sankey led the team with 10 tackles and also returned an interception for a touchdown to lead Sacramento State to a 49-13 win at Incarnate Word on Saturday night at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.
The 49 points were the most scored by the Hornets in a season opener in school history. While the 36-point margin of victory was the largest since a 69-19 win over Saint Mary's in 2003.
Safron picked up where he left off last season as the senior quarterback threw four or more touchdowns for the sixth time in his career and the third time in the last five games. Safron connected with seven receivers, including junior Nnamdi Agude who had a career high six receptions for 111 yards and a pair of scores. Prior to tonight's effort, Agude had only had three receptions during his his first two years with the team. Junior Dominic Coulter (2 rec, 27 yards) and senior Joey DePalma (2 rec., 7 yards) also caught passes for the first time as a Hornet. Senior DeAndre Carter added two more touchdowns to take sole possession of second place in school history with 21.
Defensively, Sankey led all players with 10 tackles, including five solos. The junior also shared one of the team's four sacks, recovered a fumble and returned a touchdown 59 yards on his first career interception. True freshman Joey Banks had six tackles and was one of 24 Sacramento State players to be credited with a tackle during the game.
After being stopped on its first drive of the game, the Hornets offense exploded during the remainder of the first half. Safron started the scoring flurry with a 4-yard screen pass to Jordan Robinson which gave the team a 7-3 lead nearly five minutes into the fame. Following a second UIW field goal, Sacramento State scored the next 28 points.
Carter was wide open up the middle of the field for a 33-yard connection with 1:26 left in the first quarter. That score was set up after junior Garrett Steele blocked a punt. The Hornets kept the ball after the TD when Brad Cornish's kickoff was knocked down by the wind and recovered by Steele at the 24-yard line. Junior Nnamdi Agude capitalized on the miscue with a leaping 24-yard touchdown for his first career score.
In the second quarter, Brandon Kellermann made the score 28-6 when he followed his line into the end zone from the 1-yard line on 4th-and-goal. UIW appeared to gain some momentum when Cornish's 56-yard field goal attempt was blocked late in the half. However, Sankey stripped the running back and Jaycee Totty recovered the fumble to give Sacramento State another chance. Safron hit Agude for three passes to begin the series before finding Carter in the front right corner of the end zone for a 24-yard TD pass.
Safron threw his fifth touchdown pass early in the second half with a 20-yard high-arcing pass to Agude in the back of the end zone. The drive appeared to stall when the team was stopped on 4th-and-1 but a face mask penalty against the Cardinals set up the TD. On the ensuing drive, UIW drove past midfield before Darnell Sankey intercepted Taylor Woods and sprinted up the middle of the field for a 59-yard touchdown.
Ramon Cotto was the bright spot for Incarnate Word. The freshman kicker boomed 47 and 49-yard field goals in the first quarter. The Cardinals' were dealt a blow when starting quarterback Trent Brittain was knocked out of the game with an ankle injury midway through the first quarter. The team also scored early in the fourth quarter on a 49-yard pass from Woods to Joseph Sadler who was left uncovered in the middle of the field.
Sacramento State will play at Cal on Saturday, Sept. 6, at noon. The game will also be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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March 6, 2015 FORMER HORNETS PUT ON SHOW FOR PRO SCOUTS
March 5, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS TO CLASS WITH SIGNING OF CAPOOCIA
February 25, 2015 HORNET FOOTBALL WEEKEND SET FOR APRIL 17-18
February 20, 2015 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2015 SCHEDULE
February 4, 2015 FOOTBALL COMPLETES SIGNING DAY WITH 32 TOTAL COMMITS
January 28, 2015 HORNET STUDENT-ATHLETES TOTAL 33 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 21, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS THREE DURING MIDYEAR PERIOD
January 15, 2015 DEANDRE CARTER TO PLAY IN NFLPA BOWL ON SATURDAY
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December 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2014 CARTER ADDS FCS ADA AWARD TO HIS RESUME
December 16, 2014 CARTER EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM TWO ORGANIZATIONS
December 10, 2014 JODY SEARS SHEDS INTERIM LABEL, EARNS THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
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November 21, 2014 CAUSEWAY CLASSIC GAMEDAY INFO
November 21, 2014 FOOTBALL ALUMNI UPDATE
November 20, 2014 "RELAY OVER THE CAUSEWAY" TO DELIVER GAME BALL ON SATURDAY
November 18, 2014 CARTER NAMED FINALIST FOR THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD
November 18, 2014 61st CAUSEWAY CLASSIC UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL
November 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED BIG SKY SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 15, 2014 FOOTBALL STORMS BACK FOR 48-41 WIN OVER PORTLAND STATE
November 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SENIOR DAY THIS SATURDAY AGAINST PORTLAND STATE
November 10, 2014 CARTER NAMED FCS NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 8, 2014 RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCES HELP FOOTBALL TO 42-21 WIN
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November 1, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT NO. 12 MONTANA, 31-13
October 28, 2014 WELL-RESTED FOOTBALL PLAY AT NO. 12 MONTANA ON SATURDAY
October 21, 2014 SANKEY NAMED TO BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
October 18, 2014 FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF
October 14, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING
October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL EARNS FIRST BIG SKY WIN, DOWNS UNC 43-38
October 7, 2014 FOOTBALL BACK ON THE ROAD AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 4, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS IN SHOOTOUT TO MONTANA STATE, 59-56
September 30, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE ON SATURDAY
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September 23, 2014 FOOTBALL BEGINS BIG SKY PLAY AT IDAHO STATE ON SATURDAY
September 20, 2014 FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY
September 16, 2014 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST MENLO ON SATURDAY
September 15, 2014 CORNISH NAMED NATIONAL, BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 13, 2014 FOOTBALL GETS RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES IN 42-31 WIN
September 9, 2014 FOOTBALL WELCOMES WEBER STATE FOR HOME OPENER
September 6, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT CALIFORNIA
September 2, 2014 FOOTBALL HEADS TO CAL ON SATURDAY
September 1, 2014 SANKEY NAMED BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 30, 2014 FOOTBALL ROLLS TO 49-13 WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
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July 3, 2014 BROADNAX NAMED TO CFPA TIGHT END WATCH LIST
July 1, 2014 CARTER EARNS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
June 23, 2014 TODD DAVIS SIGNS WITH THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
June 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED TO CFPA WIDE RECEIVER WATCH LIST
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