Cal Poly Football dropped their fourth consecutive conference game in a 38-14 defeat against No. 8 Sacramento State on Saturday, Oct. 26 inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The Hornet defense held Cal Poly to just one touchdown through the first three quarters as the Mustangs fell to a record of 1-4 in the Big Sky Conference.
“The last three weeks we’ve been able to say the words, ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ … tonight, I wasn’t able to say that.” head coach Tim Walsh said. “I have no other answers other than we got our tails whooped by a better team tonight.”
The Hornets (4-0 Big Sky) kicked off Saturday’s game with a 70-yard drive on 12 plays. However, an interception by senior defensive back Kitu Humphrey halted Sacramento State’s opening drive to keep the game level at zero. The interception was Humphrey’s first of the season and fourth in his career. Both teams traded possessions, but failed to convert a touchdown as the first quarter came to a close without a point on the scoreboard.
The Hornets opened up the second quarter with a 52-yard drive on four plays for their first touchdown of the night. Hornet running back Elijah Dotson converted on a 19-yard run to grant Sacramento State the 7-0 lead. The Hornet defense held Cal Poly to just four plays with a loss of one yard on the following possession.
Sacramento State popped off another 70-yard drive with just under eight minutes remaining in the second quarter. The drive ended in a two-yard touchdown run by running back BJ Perkinson for a 14-0 Hornet advantage. Despite an 11-play drive, the Mustangs were held to a 17-yard gain in the ensuing possession.
The Hornets continued their offensive superiority with a 41-yard drive behind three runs from quarterback Kevin Thomson. However, the Mustang defense held Sacramento State to a fourth down in which the Hornets were forced to attempt a field goal. The 32-yard attempt was completed by kicker Devon Medeiros for a 17-0 Hornet lead.
The Hornets converted yet another touchdown with ten minutes remaining in the third quarter before the Mustangs put themselves on the scoreboard. Three Thomson passes and a three-yard Dotson run set up a scoring opportunity on 1st and one. The Hornets took advantage of the opportunity and scored through a one-yard run by Dotson to extend their lead to 24-0.
Cal Poly responded to Dotson’s touchdown with their most successful drive of the night — a 71-yard push on five plays through sophomore fullback Duy Tran-Sampson. The drive was capped off with a 43-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jake Jeffrey to senior wide receiver J.J. Koski to cut the deficit to 24-7.
“I think Jeffrey needs to be applauded for what he was able to do when he gets in the game,” Walsh said.
Despite the impressive drive, Cal Poly was held to one additional touchdown in the remainder of the game. Sacramento State ended any chance of a Mustang comeback with back-to-back 57-yard drives in the fourth quarter for the team’s two final touchdowns.
The Mustangs drove 78 yards on 14 plays in their last possession for a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Quentin Harrison. However, the effort was not enough to mount the Hornets as the game concluded at a score of 38-14.
“Theres some things we’ll probably look at that were good, but not enough to say we should even be in that game,” Walsh said.
The Mustangs are on the road for their next conference game against University of Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2:05 pm.