Senior running back Jordan Robinson celebrated his last game at Hornet Stadium by rushing for a career-high 262 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries, and the Hornets made a dramatic goal-line stand in the final seconds to beat Portland State 42-35 on Saturday night and snap their losing streak at four games.
Robinson had touchdown runs of 75, 40, 13 and 9 yards, the latter with 1:56 to play to break a 35-35 tie. The game-winning touchdown capped a 59-yard drive for Sac State (2-8, 2-5 Big Sky Conference) in which Robinson carried seven times for 32 yards.
Portland State (3-7, 2-5) then drove from its 25 to the Sac State 3, and Paris Penn ran into the end zone on fourth and goal with 15 seconds left. But his score was nullified by a 10-yard holding penalty, and Vikings quarterback Alex Kuresa overthrew Maximo Espitia in the back of the end zone on the Vikings’ final play.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Robinson’s four touchdowns tied for second in school history, his 262 rushing yards were sixth best, and he became only the eighth Hornet to rush for more than 200 yards in a game. The Chino Hills resident also caught two passes for 38 yards.
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“Even though we’ve had a rough season, everybody in the locker room wanted to send the seniors out with a ‘W,’ and we definitely did that,” Robinson said.
The win gives the Hornets momentum entering their Causeway Classic season finale at UC Davis next Saturday.
Sac State had 519 total yards ‑ including 324 rushing – with Robinson, running back Demetrius Warren and quarterback Nate Ketteringham running behind the improving offensive line of Jonathan Bade, Nick Bianco, Lake Aiono, Ivan Espiritu, Taylor Tappin and tight ends John McGill and Stone Sander.
The Hornets scored on drives of 69, 67, 76, 97, 75 and 59 yards.
The defense also worked hard to try to contain a sizzling Portland State offense that had compiled 100 total points in its last two games. The Hornets forced the Vikings to punt seven times and twice stopped them on downs, though the Vikings finished with 522 yards. Linebacker Tyler Meteer led the way with 12 tackles, two tackles for losses and a sack.
Still, Kuresa was a handful. He rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 98 yards and a touchdown after throwing for a career-best 384 yards the week before in the Vikings’ 51-29 win at UC Davis.
The Hornets and Portland State traded touchdowns in a well-played and entertaining first half that ended 21-21.
Kuresa had touchdown runs of 55 and 36 yards and Nate Tago a 1-yard scoring plunge for Portland State. Robinson had a career-best 75-yarder for a touchdown, Warren went 19 yards for a score, and Ketteringham had a 7-yard touchdown run for the Hornets.
With the win, Sac State ends its post-bye-week futility. The Hornets had last won after a bye week in 2003, when they beat Idaho State 47-21.