Sacramento Mountain Lions fall to Las Vegas Locomotives 26-3

Alyssa Huskinson

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The Sacramento Mountain Lions were shut down 26-3 by the Las Vegas Locomotives on Friday night at Hornet Stadium.

The Locomotives forced a league-record six turnovers in route to the win.

Mountain Lions’ cornerback Robert Bourne broke his left leg in the first quarter defending a potential play in the end zone.

In front of an estimated 19,000 fans, quarterback Daunte Culpepper was responsible for five of Sacramento’s turnovers, throwing four interceptions and fumbled the ball once. Running back Corry Ross lost the ball once on a fumble but managed to recover and make plays.

“We’re going to bounce back,” Culpepper said. “We just have to get back to the fundamentals, get back to what we did to be successful. We can’t fall apart in crucial parts of the game and we can’t have miscommunication.”

The Mountain Lions completed 20 first downs with a 57 percent third down efficiency. The team also had a total of 354 net yards: 198 net yards passing and 156 net yards rushing. But also managed a zero percent red zone efficiency on three attempts.

“If we don’t turn over the ball, then we’ll win games,” Ross said. “We can’t expect to win if we lose the turnover battle.”

The Mountain Lions got on the board with a 41-yard field-goal by Fabrizio Scaccia with 14:18 to go in the second quarter. The first half continued to be field-goal kicking contest, as the Locos held a 9-3 lead at the half.

Although the Mountain Lions weren’t able to finish in the red zone, Ross rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries and caught five passes for 29 yards in the first half. While linebacker Dontarrious Thomas racked up nine tackles.

“This is our third loss, we have to have ball security,” said tight end Nate Lawrie. “The turnover battle is a huge part of the game if we lose it, it makes it really hard to win, especially having six turnovers.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Culpepper threw his third and fourth interceptions, which turned into a 58-yard touchdown made by safety Jamal Lewis. This was Lewis’ second interception of the game.

The Mountain Lions fell to 1-3 on the season. The win for the Locos came at a price, as quarterback Tim Rattay left in the fourth quarter on crutches with a reported Achilles injury.

The Mountain Lions will take on the Florida Tuskers Thursday at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Alyssa Huskinson can be reached at ahuskinson@statehornet.com

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