Cal Poly rushed and passed its way to a 63-28 win over UC Davis Saturday in the Horseshoe Classic to secure the Golden Horseshoe trophy for another year.
The return of the wingback duo of James Noble and Ryan Mole proved to be a success as Noble finished the game with 94 yards rushing and touchdown runs of 26 and 6 yards, respectively.
Mole chipped in with two scores of his own, the first on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and the second on a 33-yard reception from Jonathan Dally.
He finished the game with 92 yards.
Dally passed for 264 yards through the air and connected with Ramses Barden for three touchdowns.
The Aggies, who had given up only 591 rushing yards to opponents all season, allowed the Mustangs to harvest 440 yards in 54 carries.
Both teams yielded a combined 1,106 yards of total offense.
Dally fumbled on a 3-3 play on the Mustangs’ opening drive. The Aggies were able to work their way down to the Mustang 4-yard-line before UC Davis quarterback Matt Engle fumbled and Cal Poly’s Louis Shepherd recovered at the Mustang 23-yard line.
Cal Poly capitalized on the turnover with a four-play, 77-yard drive that ended when Dally connected with Ramses Barden around the UC Davis 35-yard line. Barden was able to shake off a defender and run it in to complete the score with 9:48 remaining in the quarter.
Noble tiptoed down the sideline for a 26-yard touchdown on the Mustangs’ next possession to pick up his first touchdown of the year. The score capped a six-play, 66-yard drive.
UC Davis was not able to respond on its next possession and was forced to punt after seven plays.
The Mustangs were able to put up seven more points when Dally connected with Barden again, this time for a 56-yard touchdown. Mole had run the ball 30 yards on the previous play to set up the score.
The Aggies rallied back in the second quarter with two straight scores.
Their first touchdown came 39 seconds into the quarter when Engle found wide receiver Bakari Grant in the corner of the endzone. Cal Poly’s Xavier Gardner was called for pass interference on the play but the penalty was declined.
Adam Cook forced a fumble for the Aggies after Dally had completed a pass to Barden.
UC Davis was able to produce its second touchdown off of the turnover when Engle found Brandon Rice on a 26-yard pass to close the gap to 21-14.
Both teams responded on their next drives with Barden catching his third touchdown of the game to put the Mustangs up 28-14 followed by a 70-yard touchdown reception from Rice.
Cal Poly scored once more in the first half with a 1-yard run from Mole. It was his first touchdown as a Mustang.
At the half, Cal Poly had already accumulated 399 total offensive yards.
Cal Poly held the Aggies’ scoreless in the third quarter while posting three of its own.
The first came on a 33-yard pass from Dally to Mole within the first two minutes of the second half.
Jono Grayson scored the next two touchdowns on runs of 32 and 9 yards, respectively.
In the fourth quarter UC Davis scored on a 5-yard run from Joe Trombetta and Noble capped the games scoring on a 6-yard run with 6:31 left in the game.
Aside from Noble and Mole, two other Mustangs surpassed 50 yards in the game. Dally netted 88 yards and freshman Jordan Yocum picked up 57 yards.
Barden picked up 173 yards on five catches, marking the fifth game this season he has been above the 100-yard mark.
Cal Poly will travel to Brookings, S.D. next week to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.