Hopes for a win in a new season in a new home faded, as an early Sacramento lead evaporated in a 24-20 loss at the hands of the visiting Omaha Nighthawks on Saturday night.
The Mountain Lions suited up for the first time at Raley Field, the home of the Oakland Athletics Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats. The Lions played their previous two seasons at Hornet Field on the campus of Sacramento State University.
After hosting many events including concerts and professional soccer games, it was the first time trenches were dug for goal posts and sod replaced infield dirt to accommodate football at the minor league baseball facility in West Sacramento. The schedule includes three more home dates at the ballpark.
The just over 8,000 fans that filed in seemed to like the layout of the field and the upgrades to concessions that the college couldn’t provide.
Mountain Lions quarterback Josh Johnson put Sacramento up 7-0 early in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demetrius Williams. But Johnson would tweak a knee later in the quarter and not return until the second half.
The Nighthawks ran off 14 unanswered points, capitalizing on four Sacramento turnovers. “We have to get better and we will,” said Mountain Lions head coach Turk Schonert regarding the several miscues.
Omaha put the game away with just over two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter on a Nighthawks 14-yard pass from Jason Boltus to Cameron Kenney.
Sacramento heads to Virginia Beach to take on the Virginia Destroyers on Friday. They return home October 10 to face the Las Vegas Locos at 6:00 p.m.
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