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DEFENSE STARTS STRONG, OFFENSE IGNITES IN SECOND SCRIMMAGE

DEFENSE STARTS STRONG, OFFENSE IGNITES IN SECOND SCRIMMAGE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The defense flexed its muscle in the early going before the offense found its rhythm during the second scrimmage of preseason camp for the Sacramento State football team on Saturday. The team will conduct one more week of camp before preparing for the season opener against Southern Oregon on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.

The defense jumped out quickly, forcing three turnovers and a three-and-out in the first four series. Nickelback Marcus Bruce started the run during the opening drive with a juggling interception in the middle of the field on a Kevin Thomson pass during a two-minute drive.

Jake Dunniway came on to lead the second team offense during the second series. The transfer had a 26-yard rush up the middle and also connected with Jarrell Anderson for a 4-yard completion on his lone attempt. However, a mishandled exchange on a third-down handoff was scooped up by Josiah Erickson to give the defense it's second takeway.

The first team returned for the third series where the defense allowed just one yard on three plays. Two plays later redshirt freshman Davion Ross picked off Dunniway along the sideline.

From there, the offense scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions and eight of its next 10 drives.The first three game on series which began at the offense's own 35-yard line while the final five scores started in the defense's red zone.

"Each day were are getting better but we need to continue to execute properly," head coach Troy Taylor said. "The defense has been making plays the last two weeks so it was nice see the offense have a good day. It was huge to limit the mental mistakes today."

Thomson started the scoring with a 52-yard strike to Pierre Williams down the left sideline. Dunniway followed by leading a 5-play drive which covered 65 yards before a 1-yard shovel pass to freshman Marqui Johnson. The big play in the series was a 53-yard pass to Anderson up the middle.

Williams and BJ Perkinson each had 25-yard receptions on Thomson passes to start the next drive. Facing 3rd-and-8 from the 13, Isaiah Gable hauled in a 13-yard pass for his first score.

The defense answered back with its third interception — and fourth turnover — when Isaiah Capoocia stepped in front of the intended receiver on the left sideline. Capoocia had a clear path to the end zone before the play was blown dead.

Thomson responded with a 25-yard laser to Gable just two plays into the next series for a touchdown pass. A missed field goal stalled the ensuing series before the offense made the most of four series from inside the 10-yard line with touchdowns from Marcus Fulcher, Parker Clayton, Johnson and Dunniway.

The scrimmage next moved to a pair of drives where the offense was backed up at its own 3-yard line. Perksinson gave the unit some breathing room with a 17-yard rush during the first series and PJ Reichert had a leaping grab along the sideline for a 25-yard gain during the second drive.

The offense wrapped up the day with touchdowns on the final two drives which started at defensive 40-yard line. Williams caught his second touchdown pass of the day with a 30-yard from Thomson and Joey Wood punched it in from 2 yards out. That score was set up by a 22-yard pass from Dunniway to Martin Robles.

"I thought the offense executed better today but we have to be able to respond if something adverse happens," defensive coordinator Andy Thompson said. "Some guys in the secondary made some plays today but we have to whole group compete."

Thomson finished the day by completing 14-of-20 passes for 212 yards with five touchdown passes and one interception. Dunniway was 10-of-14 for 165 yards with one TD and pick. Tristan Meyere entered for one series where he was 1-of-2 for 13 yards and an interception.

Thirteen players caught at least one pass with Pierre Williams and Elijah Dotson each bringing in four. Williams compiled 122 yards and had three catches of at least 25 yards to lead the team.

The team also had a balanced rushing attack with 10 players receiving carries. Perkinson paced the team with 26 yards.

The team will have Sunday off before practicing Monday-Thursday from 6-8 p.m. A mock game will take place on Friday morning before the final practice of preseason camp on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 1:30-3:30. That evening, the team will hold its College Football Kickoff from 6-9 p.m. inside Hornet Stadium. The free event will feature interactive drills and tailgate games, performances from the marching band, cheer and dance teams as well as craft beers and food trucks. Admission to the family friendly event is free.

Passing
Kevin Thomson 14-20-212-1-5; Jake Dunniway 10-14-165-1-1; Tristan Meyer 1-2-13-1-0.

Rushing
Elijah Dotson 4-26; Marqui Johnson 1-19; Marcus Fulcher 4-13, TD; Jake Dunniway 3-11, TD; Joey Wood 3-9, TD; Ja'Narrick James 1-4; Elijah Dotson 1-3; Kevin Thomson 1-3; Parker Clayton 1-2; Hunter Hogue 1-(-1).

Receiving
Pierre Williams 4-122, 2 TD; Jarrell Anderson 2-57; Isaiah Gable 2-38, TD; Isaiah Bailey 1-36; BJ Perkinson 1-32; PJ Reichert 1-25; Charlie McBride 1-13; Andrew Hem 1-13; Elijah Dotson 4-11; Marqui Johnson 2-6, TD; Marshel Martin 1-5; Joey Wood 1-5; Parker Clayton 1-4, TD.

Defensive Takeaways
Marcus Bruce INT; Josiah Erickson FR; Davion Ross INT; Isaiah Capoocia INT.

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