Mustang News Staff Report
[follow id = “CPMustangSports”]
Sophomore running back Kori Garcia rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown in the Cal Poly football team’s 56-27 victory over Big Sky Conference opponent Sacramento State on Saturday.
The Mustangs totaled 504 yards on offense to the Hornets 449. Junior quarterback Chris Brown was 8-11 for 109 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 11 times for 27 yards. It was Brown’s fifth straight multi-touchdown game.
Junior wide receiver Roland Jackson had one catch for 52 yards that went for his first touchdown of the season. Jackson is now averaging an astounding 37 yards per catch. He’s been boom-or-bust for the Mustangs, though he has fallen on the boom side more often than not this season.
Garcia’s first rush of the game came in the first quarter and went for 42 yards to the Sacramento State 3-yard line. Junior wide receiver Chris Nicholls punched it in for his second rushing touchdown of the year. Nicholls finished with four rushes for 46 yards.
Cal Poly entered the half ahead by a slim margin 21-20, but took control of the game in the third quarter as the offense continued its rhythm and the defense added two big takeaways.
With 7:41 left in the third quarter, freshman running back Joe Protheroe took his first rush from the Cal Poly 38-yard line for 63 yards and a touchdown. That was his longest run of the season and the first of his two scores on the night — also the first of his Cal Poly career.
A two-yard rush by Brandon Howe — set up by a big 39-yard run by Brown — and a four-yard rush by Garcia gave the Mustangs 21 unanswered points in the third quarter alone.
The big plays continued in the fourth quarter when the Hornets’ opening drive was stymied by senior linebacker Nick Dzubnar’s first interception of the year.
The Mustangs received the ball at the Hornets 27-yard line and drove it to the two-yard line where Protheroe added the second touchdown of his career. That made it 28 unanswered points for the Mustangs, and left the game all but sealed at 49-20.
Cal Poly has now won three straight conference games since its narrow defeat at Northern Arizona. They are above .500 for the first time this year with an overall 4-3 record and 3-1 Big Sky record. The Mustangs are now third in the conference heading into their next two conference games that come at home where they are 2-0 this year.
Cal Poly hosts Montana on Oct. 25 at 6:05 p.m.
Rafael Salinas contributed to this report.