SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State defeated Weber State 19-14 late Saturday night at Hornet Stadium, dropping Weber State to 0-7 on the season and 0-4 in Big Sky play.
After an uneventful first quarter the Wildcats got on the board first with 14-play 71-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by C.J. Tuckett to give the 'Cats a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Hornets closed the half with a 13-yard touchdown pass and the score was tied 7-7 at the break, the first time WSU has not trailed at halftime this season.
In the third quarter the Hornets picked up a safety after WSU's snap went over the head of kicker Tyler McNannay and out of the endzone. On the kickoff the Hornets returned the ball 66-yards down to the 12-yard line and four plays later converted on a 22-yard field goal to take a 12-7 lead.
Sacramento State scored on a 25-yard pass play from Garrett Safron to TJ Knowles to give the Hornets a 19-7 lead with 7:12 to play.
Trailing by 12 Weber State converted on a fourth and three with a 17-yard pass from Mike Hoke to Erik Walker to cut the Hornet lead to 19-14 with 3:59 to play. The Wildcats were unable to stop the Hornets from reaching a first down and Sacramento State ran out the clock for the win.
"We played with a lot of energy tonight and were very consistent as a team," said WSU head coach Jody Sears. "We had a couple of breakdowns but there were a lot of positive things we can grow from. We have to take care of some silly mistakes but I was pleased with our effort. Sacramento State made a couple of plays in the passing game that ended up being the difference."
Sacramento State finished with 310 yards of total offense, compared to 237 by the Wildcats. Weber State committed six penalties on the night.
Defensively Weber State played one of its finest games of the season. The Wildcats had seven tackles for loss, including two sacks by senior defensive end Trevor Pletcher. Weber State also forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. Junior Anthony Morales finished with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
"Our defense came out with a lot of energy and attitude and it showed up on the field," said WSU defensive end Connor Meyers. "We made a lot of progress on defense this game and have to keep building on it. We have to keep grinding every day."
Offensively Hoke finished the day 19-35 for 135 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. However, Hoke was sacked five times by the Hornets. C.J. Tuckett led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown.
Sacramento State improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Hornets have now defeated the Wildcats in six of the last seven games played at Hornet Stadium. Weber State has begun the season 0-7 for just the second time in school history.
Weber State will be back on the road next week when the 'Cats play at in-state rival and new Big Sky Conference member Southern Utah next Saturday. The Thunderbirds are 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in Big Sky play after a 30-20 win at Montana Saturday.