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OFFENSE AND DEFENSE BOTH HAVE BIG PLAYS IN OPENING SCRIMMAGE

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE BOTH HAVE BIG PLAYS IN OPENING SCRIMMAGE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Elijah Dotson accounted for 136 yards of offense, Kevin Thomson and Jake Dunninway each threw touchdown passes and the Sacramento State defense created six turnovers during a 98-play scrimmage on Saturday at the team's practice field.

The Hornets used two team periods during the two-hour practice to conduct their first scrimmage. Thomson and Dunniway split time at quarterback with sophomore Tristan Meyer taking the reins of the offense for one series. Thomson completed 16-of-31 attempts for 187 yards while Dunnway threw for 154 yards on 21-of-33.

Thomson capitalized on big plays with three completions of over 20 yards and seven for 10-plus yards. His touchdown pass capped a six-play, 75-yard series which was sparked by a 33-yard screen pass to Elijah Dotson, He then hooked up with tight end Marshel Martin for 10 yards before finding true freshman Parker Clayton for a 9-yard touchdown pass in the right front corner of the end zone.

Dunniway commanded the second team offense and posted the first touchdown of the scrimmage with a 35-yard pass to Joey Wood. The running back caught the ball along the left sideline and then plowed his way into the end zone.

Overall, 11 players caught at least one pass during the day. Dotson led all receivers with nine grabs for 109 yards. Joey Wood finished with five receptions for 56 yards and Clayton hauled in three passes for 44 yards.

"It was a good active day and we got a lot accomplished," head coach Troy Taylor said. "Overall we had a great week of practice."

The Hornet defense continued to create turnovers in a variety of ways. Kevin McKinney started the run with an interception on an overthrown pass in the middle of the field. Marte Mapu recorded a pick two series later when he jumped a route along the sideline. Several players were involved in the next interception as a pass was broken up, deflected of a pair of players and eventually found its way to Marshaun Hunter who made a diving interception. Hunter also added a third-down sack early in the day. Junior college transfer Cedric McAfee added the final interception. The defense also recovered a pair of fumbles which negated big plays by the offense.

"I thought the defense played hard today," defensive coordinator Andy Thompson said. "They are trying to take coaching and are hungry to get better. Getting turnovers is always a big thing but it takes all three levels. I though today we were opportunistic."

Five players received carries for the Hornet offense led by Wood who had 10 carries for 52 yards. Dotson finished with 27 rushing yards on 11 carries and freshman Marcus Fulcher added 25 yards on six attempts. Most of the scrimmage was played without live tackling which allowed the officials to blow the play dead.

The Sacramento State offense continued to work at lightning fast speed, running a play within 15 seconds of the previous one. That pace still remained on Saturday even with the use of officials spotting the ball for the first time in camp.

The team will have Sunday off before returning to the practice field on Monday from 6-8 p.m. The second scrimmage will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 10:45 a.m.

The Sacramento State College Football Kickoff will mark the conclusion of training camp and take place on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 6-9 p.m. inside Hornet Stadium. The family-friendly event is free and will give fans a chance to meet Hornet coaches and players while also taking part in tailgate games, football drills and enjoy food and craft beer.

RUSHING
Joey Wood 10-52; Elijah Dotson 11-27; Marcus Fulcher 6-25; Kevin Thomson 3-14; Jake Dunniway 2-7.

PASSING
Kevin Thomson 16-31-0-187-1; Jake Dunniway 21-33-3-154-1; Tristan Meyer 0-1-1-0-0.

RECEIVING
Elijah Dotson 9-109; Joey Wood 5-56, TD; Parker Clayton 3-44, TD; Marcus Fulcher 3-29; Marshel Martin 3-24; Andrew Hem 3-23; Jarrell Anderson 3-17; Charlie McBride 2-12; Jeremiah Foster 2-10; Isaiah Gable 1-10; Jacob Torrez 1-5; Marqui Johnson 2-3.

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