Incarnate Word dominates Sacramento St. in highest-scoring FCS playoff game


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lindsey Scott Jr. threw four touchdown passes to break a Football Championship Subdivision record and ran for two scores as seventh-seeded Incarnate Word rallied to beat the second-seeded Sacramento State streak 66-63 in Friday night’s playoff quarterfinals.

It was the highest scoring FCS playoff game in history, and Scott, who set an FCS record with his 59th touchdown pass of the season, was the difference maker as the Cardinals (12-1) gave the Hornets (12-1) their first loss. Incarnate Word will go on a nine-game winning streak on their road trip to face No. 3 seeded North Dakota State in the semifinals next weekend.

Scott, in his seventh season of college football with five teams, surpassed the 57 touchdowns Jeremiah Briscoe threw for Sam Houston State in 2016. Scott still has at least one game to catch NCAA all-time leader Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky who threw 62 in 2021. LSU’s Joe Burrow had 60 TD assists in 2019.

Scott scored on a 64-yard rush on the first play of the fourth quarter and UIW increased their lead to 45-34. Sac State used a trick play — running back Cameron Skattebo’s 19-yard touchdown throw to Marshel Martin — to shoot within four points with 12:08 left. Sac State recovered an onside kick, Jake Dunniway joined Martin for a 14-yard touchdown on third-and-10 and the Hornets took a 48-45 lead with 10:12 to go.

The lead lasted 41 seconds before Marcus Cooper scored on a 67-yard run for UIW. The Cardinals fired Asher O’Hara, the other half of Sac State’s QB combo, forcing a fumble that Kelechi Anyalebechi recovered and returned 55 yards into the end zone for a 59-48 lead with 8:24 left. TO DO.

Sac State responded with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dunniway to Pierre Williams and a two-run run from Marcus Fulcher to make it 59-56 with 4:57 left. Another successful onside kick gave the Hornets the ball on their own 43-yard line. Fulcher’s 10-yard run gave Sac State a first and a goal to 2 of the Cardinals. After a 2-yard loss by O’Hara, Martin scored on a 4-yard tight end and Sac State led 63-59 with 1:43 remaining.

That was enough time for Scott to connect with Taylor Grimes for a 21-yard touchdown and a 66-63 lead with 27 seconds left. Dunniway’s Hail Mary pass to the end zone was incomplete on the final play.

Incarnate Word dominated the second quarter, turning two turnovers into touchdowns for a 28-17 halftime lead.

Scott went 19 of 31 for 219 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 166 yards and two scores, becoming the second FCS player in the last 25 seasons to pass for 200 yards and four touchdowns and also rush for more than 150 yards and two touchdowns in one game. according to ESPN Stats & Information. Prairie View A&M’s Jalen Morton achieved the feat in 2018 against Alabama State.

Dunniway completed 19 of 32 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Sac State, which was playing in its first quarterfinal. O’Hara completed 14 of 23 passes for 158 yards and a score.

Sac State ran 109 plays and racked up 738 yards of offense. UIW ran for 73 plays and gained 579 yards. The Hornets won possession time at 17:02.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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