The State Hornet

Causeway Classic wins 2018 ‘Game of the Year’ at Sac State

Sacramento+State+senior+receiver+Isiah+Hennie+sprints+away+from+a+UC+Davis+defender+in+the+64th+annual+Causeway+Classic+at+Hornet+Stadium+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+18%2C+2017.+Sac+State+defeated+the+Aggies+52-47.
Sacramento State senior receiver Isiah Hennie sprints away from a UC Davis defender in the 64th annual Causeway Classic at Hornet Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Sac State defeated the Aggies 52-47.

Sacramento State senior receiver Isiah Hennie sprints away from a UC Davis defender in the 64th annual Causeway Classic at Hornet Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Sac State defeated the Aggies 52-47.

Matthew Nobert - The State Hornet

Matthew Nobert - The State Hornet

Sacramento State senior receiver Isiah Hennie sprints away from a UC Davis defender in the 64th annual Causeway Classic at Hornet Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Sac State defeated the Aggies 52-47.

Shaun Holkko

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The Sacramento State football team saved its best performance of the 2017 season for last as the Hornets defeated rival UC Davis during The State Hornet’s “Game of the Year.”

The Hornets entered the game as winners of four of their last five games, but the Aggies had a two-game winning streak against Sac State dating back to 2015.

“I knew there was a lot of hype to that game,” said junior safety Mister Harriel. “For us to come out and start off the first half and completely dominate them (and) then hold on for the win. I feel that was huge for us because the last two years we lost to them and to show that we can dominate against them showed the real us.”

Sac State scored the first two touchdowns of the game and held a 17-7 lead after the first quarter. The Hornets then kept rolling into the second quarter with help from junior quarterback Kevin Thomson.

“It felt like the biggest game of the year, the stands were packed,” Thomson said. “The feeling before the game was different, it was more exciting than the other games. You get that cool atmosphere when you’re on the field getting ready for kickoff.”

Thomson propelled his team to a 38-14 halftime lead over their bitter rivals. The Hornets ended the first half with two unanswered touchdowns on the arm and legs of Thomson. He threw a 53-yard scoring pass to junior receiver Andre Lindsey and then rushed into the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown himself soon after.

“This year we set a tone (and) I feel like our team will be really good for years to come,” Lindsey said.

Sac State extended its lead to as large as 31 points (52-21) with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. However, the Aggies did not tap out and instead clawed their way back into the game.

UC Davis scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half to cut the Hornets lead to five points with less than four minutes remaining. It all came down to the last possession of the game where the Hornets defense was finally able to put an end to the Aggies comeback.

Sac State snuck away with the five-point victory on senior day, earning its first win against UC Davis since 2014. The win also marked the fourth time that the Hornets have defeated the Aggies in the Causeway Classic since 2000.

“Going into Davis, we always have a good game plan,” junior cornerback Dre Terrell said. “This year we’ll be a lot more mature to fight through adversity, so the second half won’t happen like that next year.

“When we have a big lead we will know how to maintain it and increase the lead.”

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