SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Five different Sacramento State players scored touchdowns and the team compiled 572 yards of total offense in a 41-21 Homecoming game victory over Idaho State in front of a season high 10,008 fans at Hornet Stadium on Saturday night.
The win improved the Hornets to 3-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big Sky Conference games. ISU fell to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in league games.
The Sacramento State offense continued to roll, going over 500 yards for the third-consecutive game — the first time that has happened for the Hornets since 2014. The team rushed for 318 yards on 51 attempts (6.2 yards per carry) and was led by freshman BJ Perkinson who had a career high 155 yards and a score. Quarterback Kevin Thomson added 85 yards and a touchdown while freshman Isaiah Gable had 47 yards and senior Joseph Ajeigbe contributed with 38 and a TD.
Thomson was also effective through the air, completing 18-of-23 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Senior Isiah Hennie led Sacramento State with seven receptions for 73 yards and a TD. Jaelin Ratliff recorded his second consecutive 100-yard game with five receptions for a career high 149 yards and a touchdown.
The defense was not to be outdone as it limited a Bengal attack which had averaged 174.2 rushing yards per game to just 84 yards. James Madison entered the contest averaging 102.0 yards per game but was held to 56 yards on 14 carries. Sacramento State was also able to provide constant pressure on Tanner Gueller, sacking the QB six times with George Obinna and Dariyn Choates each tallying two sacks.
The Hornets never trailed in the game, scoring in the final minute of the first quarter on Thomson's eighth rushing touchdown in the last three games. After ISU tied the game, 7-7, early in the second quarter, Sacramento State scored 10-unanswered points to take a 17-7 lead into halftime.
The team added to its advantage with an 8-play drive to start the second half which was capped by a 5-yard run from Perkinson. The two teams then traded touchdowns for the remainder of the third quarter with Sacramento State owning a 31-21 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Devon Medeiros made his second field goal of the game early in the fourth and Ajeigbe sealed the contest with a 1-yard touchdown with just under five minutes remaining. The defense was also able to shut out Idaho State in the final quarter.
Dre Terrell led the defense with nine tackles, including eight solo. Along with the season high six sacks, the unit was also responsible for nine tackles-for-loss.
Sacramento State will next play at North Dakota on Saturday, Oct. 21. The game will begin at 10:30 a.m. PT.
Isiah Hennie on the team's performance:
"Coach Sears told us after practice earlier this week that we had a mediocre day and that wasn't good enough. We all agreed to not let that happen again and it carried over for the rest of the week and into the game tonight."
Coach Sears on the running game:
"We have four really good backs and a fifth if you count Kevin (Thomson). Each is a little different and brings a different spice to the soup. BJ was really good tonight. He was wide receiver until the spring but he's really strong. He's not going to run out of bounds and is not going to run away from contact."
BJ Perkinson on his game:
"It all starts up front with the offensive line and the tight ends. I feel like I could have done better but I let them bring me down with a couple of shoe string tackles. That is something I need to work on because I feel like I could have broken a couple of those."
0:33 - Kevin Thomson scored his eighth rushing touchdown in the last three games with an 8-yard rush on third down. The quarterback faked the handoff and then darted through a great hole created by the offensive line.
11:22 - Idaho State tied the game on a 2-yard rush from Ty Flanagan. The Hornets appeared to get off the field with a third down stop but were called for pass interference in the end zone to keep the drive alive.
4:04 - Sacramento State retook the lead on a 32-yard strike from Thomson to Jaelin Ratliff. On the play, Ratliff got behind the defense down the right side line for his third receiving score of the season.
0:08 - The Hornets added one more score just prior to halftime. After driving to the ISU 1-yard line with eight seconds remaining, the team attempted one pass play before taking an 18-yard field goal from Devon Medeiros to give Sacramento State a 17-7 lead at intermission.
11:33 - BJ Perkinson capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive to start the second half with a 5-yard rush for his first career touchdown. Perkinson had rushes of 20, 19 and 9 yards during the drive before the score and went over the century mark for the first time in his career during the series.
8:57 - ISU quickly responded with a touchdown of its own with Michael Dean caught a 17-yard pass from Tanner Gueller to make the score 24-14. The Bengals were given the ball at the Sacramento State 28 after the Hornets were unable to field a punt following a defensive stop.
6:51 - The Hornets matched the score just a little over two minutes later when Thomson rolled out to his right and threw a 12-yard strike to Isiah Hennie. Ratliff helped spark the series with a 33-yard reception.
4:48 - The third quarter shootout continued when an Idaho State touchdown made the score, 31-21, in favor of the Hornets. Tanner Gueller threw a high arching score to his brother, Mitch, for a 30-yard score.
11:44 - Medeiros made his second field goal of the game with a 35-yard boot. Ratliff, again, had the big play with a 29-yard catch just inside the left sideline.
3:54 - Sacramento State sealed the game with an impressive 12-play, 80-yard drive which ate 6:41 off the clock. The drive featured two third-down conversions by the team, including a 3rd-and-9 run by Thomson which was just enough to give the team a first down. Joseph Ajeigbe capped the drive with a 1-yard rush up the middle.
Sacramento State is 2-1 in the Big Sky for the first time since 2013 and just the fifth time since joining the league in 1996…Thomson's completion percentage of .782 was easily his best of the season…Ratliff went over 100 yards for the second consecutive week and the fourth time in his career…Perkinson became the first Hornet running back to go over 100 yards in a game this season (Thomson has two)…safety Austin Clark was disqualified in the second half for a targeting penalty and will have to miss the first half of the North Dakota game.