Weber State football holds off Sacramento State for 31-24 win

Saturday , September 16, 2017 - 10:28 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

The Weber State Wildcats saw a 24-point lead shrink to three Saturday night, but held on to defeat the Sacramento State Hornets 31-24 in a non-conference football battle at Hornet Stadium.

Wildcat quarterback Stefan Cantwell threw 14 of 23 for 109 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The senior also ran for 56 yards and one touchdown.

“I was proud of the team and how they continued to battle,” WSU head coach Jay Hill said. “Things didn’t always go our way. You’ve got to give Sac State credit. They kept fighting. They kept clawing even though they were missing some plays as well.”

Junior running back Treshawn Garrett ran for 99 yards.

After Sacramento State nearly erased a 24-0 deficit and made it 24-21, Garrett went to work to start the fourth quarter and was the driving force to help Weber State hold off the Hornets.

The junior had five carries for 33 yards in the decisive drive, using spin moves and pumping legs to get every extra yard he could to extend the series.

Cantwell finished the 60-yard, six-minute drive with a 1-yard sneak to extend Weber State’s lead to 31-21 with 11 minutes left.

The Hornets tacked on a field goal but couldn’t muster more, and the Wildcats left Sacramento with the win.

The close decision was the opposite of how the game began.

Weber State wasted little time and dialed up trick plays to get on the board in the first series of the game. Cantwell approached the line of scrimmage on the Hornet 3-yard line as if to call an audible, but the ball was snapped to Garrett, who flipped the ball in a reverse to tight end Andrew Vollert, who then threw the ball to Drew Batchelor in the end zone for the score.

Cantwell then ran in a two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.

After Sacramento State went three-and-out on the subsequent series, Jonah Williams blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a Wildcat touchdown. The Wildcats went for two again, and Cantwell faked a run and hit Kallin Fisher on a jump pass to extend the lead to 16-0.

In the second quarter, Weber State scored on a short field. Cantwell hit Batchelor for a 12-yard touchdown pass, and once again, the Wildcats converted another two-point conversion to build a 24-0 lead.

“I can’t say enough about Coach (Colton) Swan and what he did with those two-point conversions,” Hill said. “Those were huge, and a big factor late in the game when we were up 10 instead of just seven. Those extra three points were huge.”

It appeared the Wildcats were in control, but a bad WSU punt put the Hornets on the Wildcat 47 to start a drive.

Sacramento State took advantage. Quarterback Kevin Thomson connected with Jaelin Ratliff for a 42-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-7.

A mere seven seconds later, Cantwell was picked off by Malcolm Thomas, who took it back 15 yards for a touchdown and suddenly, the Hornets went into the locker room trailing 24-14.

That momentum carried into the first drive of the third quarter. Sacramento State drove 80 yards and Thomson found Ratliff again, this time for a 24-yard pass that put Sacramento State on the WSU 3-yard line to set up an easy touchdown run.

Andre Lindsey ran in the 3-yard score to make it 24-21 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.

Weber State next faces UC Davis at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Stewart Stadium for homecoming and to open Big Sky Conference play.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

Get the Standard-Examiner Advantage.
×