Incarnate Word tops 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 tucked in two points as seventh-seeded Incarnate Word rallied to defeat second-seeded Sacramento State in the playoff quarterfinals at 66 :63 to beat Friday night.

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, made the difference as the Cardinals (12-1) defeated the Hornets (12-1 ) their first loss presented. Incarnate Word will be on a nine-game winning streak on their road trip to play next weekend’s semifinals against 3rd seed North Dakota.

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

Scott hit a 64-yard run in the first game of the fourth quarter and UIW extended their lead to 45-34. Sac State used a trick play – Cameron Skattebo’s 19-yard touchdown toss running back to Marshel Martin – to draw within four points with 12:08 left in the game. Sac State recovered from an onside kick, Jake Dunniway connected with Martin for a 14-yard touchdown in third and tenth place, and the Hornets took a 48-45 lead with 10-12 remaining.

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, and forced a fumble that Kelechi Anyalebechi picked up and returned 55 yards into the end zone to take a 59-48 lead with 8:24 left walk.

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

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

Incarnate Word dominated the second quarter, converting two turnovers into touchdown drives for a 28-17 lead at halftime.

Scott finished 19 of 31 for 219 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 166 yards and two points and became only the second FCS player in the past 25 seasons to rush for 200 yards and four touchdowns and also rush for over 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Prairie View A&M’s Jalen Morton pulled off the feat against Alabama State in 2018.

Dunniway completed 19 of 32 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Sac State, who were playing in their first quarterfinals. O’Hara completed 14 of 23 passes for 158 yards and one point.

Sac State ran 109 plays and 738 yards in offense. UIW ran 73 games and gained 579 yards. The Hornets gained possession time at 17:02.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Incarnate Word tops Sacramento St. in highest-scoring FCS playoff game

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