PREVIEW: Hornets hope to continue win streak against Grizzlies

Football team goes up against Montana after close victory

Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Aaron Jackson

The Sacramento State football team is coming off a 28-25 win against Northern Colorado Bears and is preparing to take on the University of Montana Grizzlies this Saturday.

In the final minutes of the game against the Bears, Hornet running back Elijah Dotson sealed the game with a 3-yard touchdown run.

This win comes after a 28-14 loss to San Diego State when the Hornets held a lead until the final four minutes of play. In those final minutes, the Hornet defense gave up two touchdowns.

“We know we played hard against San Diego, we were just a couple of plays off from winning that game,” said senior wide receiver Jaelin Ratliff. “We stayed together as a team and came back practicing even harder and played even harder the next week.”

Ratliff is the Hornets’ leading receiver this season through three games and has totalled 217 yards while averaging 24 yards per reception.

The Hornets are currently 2-1, which is the best start they have had to a season since 2014.

“For Montana, we are preparing for the atmosphere,” Dotson said. “I’ve heard a lot that it’s hard to play in that type of atmosphere. It’s close, around 25,000 fans will be there so we have to focus on what we’re going to do and just play our game.”

This season, Dotson is the leading rusher for the Hornets with 203 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Related: VIDEO: Sophomore running back Elijah Dotson

The Grizzlies are currently 2-1 and are averaging over 33 points per game. Their quarterback, Dalton Sneed, has 755 yards passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions through three games. He has also been a force on the ground with 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

“Defensively we’ve got to be a lot more disciplined in our pass rush, especially this week, because we’ve got a quarterback that can scramble around,” said head coach Jody Sears. “Our pass coverage also has to get tightened up.”

Senior linebacker Immanuel Anderson echoed Sears’ thoughts about the upcoming game.

“They’re a tough team and have a good quarterback,” Anderson said. “We just have to make sure we contain them and finish. We have to stop the run, create turnovers and just start fast.”

Anderson has a fumble recovery along with 18 tackles, which is second to junior Caelan Barnes’ 22 tackles so far this season.

The Grizzlies defense has given up over 23 points a game and Hornets quarterback Kevin Thomson has yet to throw an interception. Thompson has 645 yards passing with four touchdowns.

The team kickoffs play at noon Saturday.