Dre Terrell is immeasurably big in effort and heart if not in stature.
The Sacramento State junior cornerback stands 5-foot-8, which opposing teams see as a blaring green light to pick on him.
On Saturday, it was Terrell doing the picking. He had three in the first half to tie the school record for most interceptions in a single game and led the Hornets with six tackles in a 56-22 rout of Incarnate Word.
Now Terrell is picking up accolades. The Pleasant Grove High School product on Monday earned national Big Sky Conference, FCS and STATS, Inc. Defensive Player of the Week honors. Each interception showcased Terrell’s ability to sprint, cover and grab, the first on a diving over-the-shoulder catch, then a jump-route pick he returned 20 yards, then the real highlight. Terrell’s final theft was when he made a full-extension, one-handed snag at the 1-yard line.
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Terrell leads all FCS programs with four interceptions, matching the team total from last season.
“Teams look at me as a small corner and they’re going to take their shots,” he said. “I get in trouble (from my coaches) probably every day in practice for not using two hands (on interceptions). I know that catching the ball is one of my strengths.”
Terrell’s three interceptions tied him with Terry Patterson (1973), Merv Davis (1975), Chad Johnson (1995) and Ramon Payne (2004) for the most in a game.
More Hornets – UNLV transfer Kevin Thomson tossed five touchdowns for Sac State, including a 32-yarder to Antelope High graduate Elijah Dotson, who also had a 51-yard touchdown run for his first collegiate score. Immanuel Anderson of Elk Grove and Malcolm Thomas of Woodcreek each had five tackles for Sac State, which hosts Weber State on Saturday.
Akil moment – Placer High on Friday night retired jersey No. 1 for perhaps its greatest football athlete. Akil Jackson went on to become a an All-American at Sacramento City College and an all-Pacific-10 Conference linebacker at Arizona in the 1990s on a team that included Placer teammate Chris Lopez and Roseville star Tedy Bruschi.
Jackson died in 1999 at 27 from a severe food allergy. A framed jersey was presented to members of his family during a pregame ceremony.
Penrose time – Craig Penrose, a star quarterback for Woodland’s 1970 championship team who earned All-American honors in college in 1975, will be inducted into the San Diego State Hall of Fame on Saturday, when the Aztecs host Stanford. Penrose led San Diego State to a two-year mark of 14-5-1 and logged five NFL seasons.
Book it, Ian – Ian Book of Oak Ridge made his first appearance for Notre Dame on Saturday, a quarterback keeper, looming as a talented option for coach Brian Kelly.
Irish starter Brandon Wimbush struggled in a 20-19 loss to visiting Georgia. Wimbush was just 19 for 39 passing and lost two fumbles.
Montel moment – Montel Aaron has gone from the highs of beating lower-level Cal Poly as he secured the quarterback job at San Jose State to the despair of facing Texas on Saturday in Austin.
The Longhorns rolled 56-0, and they chased Aaron throughout. The redshirt freshman completed 12 of 23 passes for 104 yards.
“I think he just needs to keep growing,” San Jose State coach Brent Brennan told reporters after the game. “Any time you got a young player like that at that position coming into an environment like this, it’s going to be challenging.”
ARC in OT – State-ranked No. 2 American River College beat Modesto Junior College 55-49 on a Hunter Rodrigues 1-yard plunge in the second overtime as the Beavers rolled up 607 yards. Rodrigues of Whitney High passed for 343 yards and four touchdowns, hitting Arthur Jackson on three scores. Ryan Robards, The Bee’s Player of the Year in 2015 from Elk Grove, had two touchdowns, and former Bee All-Metro star Marcel Brown of Rio Linda had a 62-yard touchdown sprint.
Sacramento City College is also 2-0, thanks in part to its own nifty quarterback. Jayden Machado of Elk Grove had three touchdown passes in a season-opening 55-38 win over San Joaquin Delta, and he had one in a 28-7 triumph over Contra Costa on Saturday.
ARC hosts Sac City on Oct. 21.