Hornets fall 28-20 to Eagles comeback


Sacramento State running back Jordan Robinson makes contact with an Eastern Washington defender during the game on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at Hornet Stadium. Robinson ended the night with 104 rushing yards.

Andre Newell

Despite having a dominant first half, the Hornets could not keep the momentum going as they fell 28-20 to Eastern Washington University on Saturday night at Hornet Stadium.

The Hornets are now 1-3 on the season and they are 0-1 in Big Sky Conference play.

Hornets’ coach Jody Sears had nothing but good things to say about the effort of his team in the game.

“I have no issues with the effort or heart of the team tonight,” Sears said. “I told my team that I was proud of their effort after a poor performance from the week before.”

The Hornets got off to a great start offensively. They marched down the field on the Eastern Washington defense. Unfortunately, they could not score a touchdown and settled for a field goal. These were the first points of the game.

Shortly after the Hornets scored, Eastern Washington responded with an ensuing drive that ended in a touchdown. Eastern Washington quarterback Jordan West found Cooper Kupp for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles led 7-3 at that point.

A few minutes later, the Hornets put more points on the board after sophomore quarterback Daniel Kniffin connected with sophomore receiver Isiah Hennie on a 45-yard touchdown pass. The Hornets reclaimed the lead, 10-7.

In the second quarter, the Hornets dominated the Eagles, holding them scoreless for the whole second quarter.

At the half, the Hornets had 291 total yards while the Eagles had 233.

The Hornets got some production from junior running back Jordan Robinson. The Eagles were having a hard time stopping him as he rushed for 89 yards and had one rushing touchdown in the first half.

The Eagles turned into a completely different team following halftime, and held the Hornets scoreless for the entire second half.

The Eagles gained their momentum after West found junior wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a 98-yard touchdown pass, trimming the Hornet lead to six (20-14). After that score, the Eagles did not look back.

Sacramento State’s offense could not get going as the Eastern Washington defense made adjustments in the second half.

The Eagles would regain the lead after junior running back Jabari Wilson ran the ball in for a two-yard touchdown after an ensuing drive by the Eagles. The Eagles led 21-20.

A few minutes after Wilson scored, the Eagles stretched the lead to 28-20 after Jordan West and Cooper Kupp connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass, their second touchdown connection of the game. Kupp set the Big Sky record for most career-receiving touchdowns with 47.

For the Hornets, Daniel Kniffin had a rough second half following his impressive first half. Kniffin completed 19 of 37 attempts for 223 yards and one interception.

The sophomore also suffered from an injury in which he had to leave the game late in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Kolney Cassel took the place of Kniffin.

Jordan Robinson rushed for 104 yards, making it the second consecutive game where he has rushed for over 100 yards.

“We can be a very dominant team on offense,” Robinson said. “We showed that we can be dominant in the first half, we just came out flat in the second half.”

The Hornets defense was very tough in the first half, only allowing seven points in the first half. However, they gave up 21 unanswered points in the second half.

“We came out strong and high powered in the first half,” senior linebacker Darnell Sankey said. “The second half, things just didn’t go our way. They were the better team in the second half.”

Sankey had 11 tackles in Saturday night’s game after coming off a stellar performance the week before with 27 tackles.

The Hornets will look to bounce back from this tough loss at home next week. Sankey believes that the Hornets will bounce back strong.

“It starts in practice,” Sankey said.

The Hornets will be preparing to face the University of Northern Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Hornet Stadium.