GREELEY, Colo. — For the second consecutive week, the Sacramento State football team posted incredible offensive numbers but was forced to wait until the final moments to determine the outcome of the game. On Saturday, the Hornets prevailed after retaining possession on an onsides kick attempt for a 43-38 victory.
Quarterback Garrett Safron threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 84 yards to spark the team to 499 yards of total offense. DeAndre Carter caught nine passes for 133 yards and junior Nnamdi Agude caught three passes, including a pair of touchdowns. While those three have grabbed the headlines throughout the season, junior De'Jon Coleman had his best day of the season, rushing for 57 yards and two TDs and recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Sacramento State (4-3, 1-2 Big Sky) trailed only once in the game (13-10) and eventually pulled ahead 43-30 with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter on Coleman's second rushing touchdown. Those points proved to be the last of the day for the Hornets.
Late in the fourth quarter, Northern Colorado (2-4, 1-2) drove to the 1-yard line but the Hornet defense responded with two stops of quarterback Sean Rubalcaba. The Bears opted to go for it on fourth down and ran Robert Holland to the right side where he was met by Henry Fernandez and Russell Smith to complete the goal line stand.
Northern Colorado, however, was not done, forcing a safety to make the score 43-32 with 1:34 remaining. Without a timeout, UNC was forced to attempt an onsides kick which travelled out of bounds.
Sacramento State struck first on a 4-yard pass to Jordan Robinson on its first drive. That lead was short-lived as the Bears responded with a 45-yard run from Rubalcaba to tie the game just two minutes later. UNC took the lead with just under four minutes to play on a 38-yard field goal from Seth Czapenski.
In the second quarter. Agude caught a 12-yard pass just 31 seconds into the period to give the lead back to the Hornets. Coleman stretched the lead to 20-10 with an 11-yard touchdown. That score lasted just six seconds as Ellis Onic returned the ensuing kickoff out of the end zone for a 100-yard touchdown.
Brad Cornish made a 38-yard field goal for the first points of second half before Brandon Cartage caught a 17-yard pass to tie the game at 23-23. UNC opted to go for two on the conversion but Thomas Singleton's rush attempt came up short.
Agude gave the lead back to Sacramento State with a 25-yard TD grab which he bounced off a pair of defenders. After the defense got a stop, Jonathan Bade and Jacob Bowman went up the middle to block the punt attempt which was scooped up by Coleman and returned nine yards for a score.
Derek Vander Velde pulled the Bears within a touchdown when he caught a 12-yard pass with 2:01 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter scoring began with Coleman's 2-yard rush to finish an 8-play, 65-yard drive.
Rubalcaba completed 25-of-35 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns to lead UNC. Stephen Miller caught nine passes 142 yards and Dimitri Stimphil added seven grabs for 95 yards. Robert Holland was the Bears' leading rusher with 122 yards on 13 attempts.
Defensively, Robbie Kendall was the Hornets' leading tackler with 13 stops. Darnell Sankey added 11 tackles, including a pair for loss. Nathan Castro was credited with 1.5 sacks to lead the team's four-sack attack.
Sacramento State will next host Cal Poly on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. The game will serve as the University's Homecoming.
NOTES: Sacramento State finished one yard shy of amassing 500-yards of offense for the fourth-straight game. The team was at 501 before taking a knee on the final two plays…Carter has surpassed 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games…Coleman's blocked punt return for a touchdown was the first for Sacramento State since Markell Williams against Montana in 2011.
April 23, 2015 FOOTBALL HANDS OUT TEAM AWARDS AT BANQUET CELEBRATION
April 18, 2015 OFFENSE SURGES LATE TO WIN THE GREEN & GOLD GAME
April 17, 2015 GREEN & GOLD GAME TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY
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
December 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE SPORTS NETWORK
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 22, 2014 FOOTBALL WINS CAUSEWAY CLASSIC WITH 41-30 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
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
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November 4, 2014 FOOTBALL TAKES ON SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
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
September 27, 2014 FOOTBALL NOT ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH IDAHO STATE IN 44-24 LOSS
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
August 26, 2014 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON ON SATURDAY AT INCARNATE WORD
August 21, 2014 FOOTBALL TO HOST ALUMNI FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY
August 17, 2014 FOOTBALL HOLDS FIRST SCRIMMAGE AND BEE A HORNET
August 8, 2014 FAN BUS PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR FOOTBALL GAME AT CAL
July 16, 2014 KICKOFF TIMES SET FOR 2014 HOME FOOTBALL GAMES
July 14, 2014 DeANDRE CARTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY
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
June 10, 2014 SAFRON NAMED TO CFPA QUARTERBACK WATCH LIST