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

Incarnate Word goes ahead on spectacular TD grab by Taylor Grimes (1:08)

Taylor Grimes keeps his feet inbounds on a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone as Incarnate Word prevails 66-63 in thriller vs. Sacramento State. (1:08)

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 second-seeded Sacramento State 66-63 in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs on Friday night.

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

Scott, in his seventh season of college football with five teams, 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 scored on a 64-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter and UIW upped its lead to 45-34. Sac State used a trick play -- running back Cameron Skattebo's 19-yard touchdown toss to Marshel Martin -- to pull within four points with 12:08 left to play. Sac State recovered an onside kick, Jake Dunniway connected with Martin for a 14-yard touchdown on third-and-10 and the Hornets grabbed 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 sacked Asher O'Hara, the other half of Sac State's QB combo, forcing a fumble that Kelechi Anyalebechi scooped up and returned 55 yards to the end zone for a 59-48 lead with 8:24 to go.

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

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 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 scores, becoming just the second FCS player over the past 25 seasons to pass for 200 yards and four touchdowns and also rush for over 150 yards and two touchdowns in one game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Prairie View A&M's Jalen Morton pulled the feat in 2018 against Alabama State.

Dunniway completed 19 of 32 passses 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 piled up 738 yards of offense. UIW ran 73 plays and gained 579 yards. The Hornets won time of possession by 17:02.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.