Interceptions by Kyle Shotwell and Jason Relyea plus a fumble recovery by Adam Torosian all set up touchdowns as Cal Poly defeated Northern Colorado 31-14 in a Great West Football Conference game Saturday afternoon before a record crowd of 9,142 at Nottingham Field.
Freshman running back James Noble rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries and scored twice on runs of 17 and nine yards as Cal Poly won its fourth straight and improved to 4-1 on the year. Northern Colorado fell to 2-3.
Senior quarterback Anthony Garnett rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown while also completing seven of 15 passes for 80 yards and another score for Cal Poly.
Senior defensive end Chris Gocong recorded 3.5 sacks. He led the nation with 7.0 sacks entering Saturday's game.
Junior nose tackle Chris White added 1.5 sacks as Cal Poly notched six for the game, raising its total for the season to 25 in five games.
Junior linebacker Kyle Shotwell recorded 13 tackles and his third career interception while sophomore linebacker Jason Relyea added nine tackles and his first career theft.
The first Mustang scoring drive was set up by Torosian’s fumble recovery. Tom Curiel forced the fumble when he sacked Northern Colorado quarterback T.J. Swanson. Noble followed two plays later with his 17-yard scoring run.
Noble’s nine-yard touchdown run was set up with Relyea’s interception, giving Cal Poly a 17-7 lead in the third quarter. Shotwell’s theft set up a seven-yard scoring pass from Garnett to Ramses Barden midway through the third quarter.
Garnett ran two yards for an insurance touchdown with 12:21 remaining.
Cal Poly’s other points came on a 37-yard field goal by Nick Coromelas as time ran out in the first half, giving Cal Poly the lead for good at 10-7.
Jonah Russell and Tredale Tolver each caught two passes for Cal Poly.
Northern Colorado running back Andre Wilson earned his fifth straight 100-yard game and 10th of his career, gaining 155 yards on 35 carries. He scored the first Bear touchdown on a one-yard run late in the first quarter.
Northern Colorado also scored the final touchdown of the game on a seven-yard pass from Swanson to Cory Sleeth midway through the fourth quarter.
Swanson completed 17 of 26 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice and fumbled the ball away once.
Andy Birkel was the top Bear receiver with five catches for 62 yards.
Cal Poly, in the midst of a stretch of four of five games on the road, will play its only home game of October this Saturday t Mustang Stadium. The Mustangs will host North Dakota State for its third straight Great West contest.