FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY

FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State amassed 551 yards of total offense, had five players rush for a touchdown and scored on special teams in a 59-14 win over Menlo on Saturday night at Hornet Stadium.

With the victory, the Hornets improved to 3-1 to start the season for the first time since 1999 and Jody Sears joined John Baker (1957) as the only coach in program history to begin his career by winning three of his first four games. The Oaks fell to 1-3.

Sacramento State spread its scoring out, posting at least 10 points in all four quarters and having all eight touchdowns scored by different players. Five Hornets rushed for a score comprised of Jordan Robinson, De'Jon Coleman, Demetrius Warren, Brandon Kellermann and Darnell Sankey. DeAndre Carter and Jonathan Bade each caught a TD pass from Garrett Safron and Isiah Hennie returned a kickoff for a score.

For the second consecutive game, Robinson was the catalyst for the ground attack which wracked up 273 yards. The sophomore ran for 114 yards and scored on a 23-yard rush for the team's first points. Combined with his 130 yards against Weber State last week, he became the first Sacramento State player to go over the century mark in consecutive games since Ezekiel Graham in September of 2012. Robinson averaged 11.4 yards per carry and the Hornets averaged 7.2 yards per rush as a team.

One of the more interesting carries came late in the first quarter when Sankey plunged in from a yard out. The touchdown was the first rushing of his career and his second of the season (interception return). The junior also added a career high 17 tackles with a tackle-for-loss.

Safron split time with redshirt freshman Daniel Kniffin at quarterback. The senior completed 17-of-25 passes for 203 yards with a pair of touchdowns.  His first scoring pass came with 3:44 to play in the opening half when he found a wide open Bade from the 6-yard line. The catch was the first for Bade who's a redshirt freshman and converted offensive tackle. With 48 seconds left in the half, Safron led Carter into triple coverage in the center of the end zone but the senior was able to hold on despite a big hit for his 21st career receiving touchdown.

After Menlo made the score 38-14 with a 19-yard pass late in the third quarter, Hennie immediately answered with an 89-yard kickoff return. The true freshman started on the left side of the field and slashed over to the right sideline. He nearly came to stop before moving back to his left, stepping around a defender then sprinting to the end zone. The kickoff return was the first for Sacramento State since John Hendershott went 91 yards at Montana State on Nov. 1, 2011.

Carter led all Hornet receivers with six catches for 77 yards. Nnamde Agude caught four passes for 47 while Justin Cox, Chris Broadnax and Dominic Coulter each caught three. In all, nine Sacramento State players had at least one reception.

Defensively, the team tied the school Div. I-AA/FCS-era record with four interceptions. The team had picked off four passes seven previous times — the last being against Weber State on Nov. 7, 2006. On Saturday, Joshua Armstrong, Nick Crouch, Mike Sellers and Austin Clark matched the mark with each recording their first career interception in the process. Sacramento State also recovered a muffed punt for the third consecutive game.

Along with Sankey, Henry Fernandez added nine tackles and Dexter Alcala, Jaycee Totty and Joey Banks were credited with five each. Totty also led the team with three tackles-for-loss, including a sack.

Sacramento State will open Big Sky Conference play on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Idaho State. The game against the Bengals will start at 1 p.m. PDT.

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