Standing between Sacramento State and the FCS semifinals is Lindsey Scott Jr. The Incarnate Word quarterback has thrown for 4,185 yards and 55 touchdowns this season. Sacramento State’s tag team of Jake Dunniway and Asher O’Hara has combined for 2,904 yards and 27 touchdowns. Let’s just say Scott will have an advantage when the two teams clash in a quarterfinal game at Hornet Stadium.
Incarnate Word is the No. 7 seed and pulled out a 41-38 victory against Furman last week. Kole Wilson turned a pass from Scott into a 32-yard touchdown with 1:54 left to lift the Cardinals (11-1). Sacramento State (12-0) is the No. 2 seed and needed O’Hara’s 51-yard scoring pass to Pierre Williams with 6:28 left to beat Richmond 38-31. Dunniway threw for a season-high 317 yards and three scores.
Scott has also traveled much more than Dunniway or O’Hara. Dunniway is a Tracy High graduate who redshirted at UC Davis in 2017 and then played one season at San Diego Mesa Community College before coming to Sacramento. O’Hara played one season at College of DuPage, which is near his hometown of Rolling Meadows, Ill., and then transferred to Middle Tennessee State before coming to California.
They have nothing on Scott, the Louisiana native who redshirted at LSU in 2016. He played one season at East Mississippi Community College and then transferred to Missouri, where he did not play. His next stop was Nicholls State, but he could not play in 2019 because of the NCAA transfer rules. Scott started for the Colonels in the spring of 2021 (which did not count against his eligibility) and last fall before coming to Incarnate Word as a graduate transfer.
Scott has also rushed for 466 yards and seven touchdowns, so he has accounted for 76 percent (62 of 81) of Incarnate Word’s touchdowns this season. Sacramento State can counter with O’Hara, who has run for 850 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was the Hornets’ leading rusher against Richmond with 53 yards on 15 carries. Sacramento State was held to a season-high 72 yards rushing last Saturday.
Sacramento State had to shuffle its offensive line because left tackle Troy Stiefel was sidelined with an injury. Left guard Jackson Slater moved to left tackle, right guard Brandon Weldon switched to left guard and Kenndel Riley started at right guard. Stiefel did not practice this week, so it is unlikely he will be available.
Cameron Skattebo had his worst game of the season with 21 yards on nine carries. The sophomore was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in rushing yards with 1,251. The Hornets are averaging 235.8 yards per game on the ground and had a season-high 472 yards of total offense against Richmond. Incarnate Word averages 585 yards of total offense.
Incarnate Word had 613 yards against Furman with Scott accounting for 518 (394 passing and a season-high 124 rushing). He tossed five touchdown passes, his seventh game with five or more this season.