Cal Poly football stayed winless in Big Sky Conference play with a loss to Portland State by a final score of 42-21 on Saturday, Oct. 30 inside Hillsboro Stadium.
The loss is the seventh in a row for the Mustangs (1-7, 0-5 Big Sky), while the Vikings (4-4, 3-2 Big Sky) evened their overall record.
Following a fumble by redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Brasch on the seventh play of the game, Portland State opened the scoring with 10:08 remaining in the first quarter, courtesy of an 18-yard rushing touchdown, giving them a 7-0 lead.
10 minutes later, the Vikings scored again after a 16-play, seven minute drive set up a two-yard rushing touchdown by Jalynnee McGee with 58 seconds left in the quarter.
The Mustangs answered immediately, as on their very next offensive play, Brasch snapped off a 75-yard touchdown pass to graduate wide receiver Chris Coleman. However, sophomore kicker Matthew Hoffman missed the extra-point attempt, leaving the score at 14-6 after one quarter.
That would remain the score until the second half, thanks to an excellent defensive showing from Cal Poly in the second quarter. The Mustangs forced three turnovers, including a crucial fumble at the one-yard line that prevented a score. However, back-to-back drive-ending interceptions by each team followed, and the Mustangs entered the break down by eight.
As the second half began, the Cal Poly defense remained strong. In fact, Vikings’ quarterback Davis Alexander’s second interception of the game came on the first play of the half. Two minutes later, the game was tied at 14 following a two-yard rushing touchdown by redshirt sophomore running back Sam Stewart and a successful two-point conversion.
However, Portland State scored on three of its next four possessions, leaving the Mustangs with a deficit that was too much to overcome even with the help of a three-yard touchdown catch by freshman running back Adam Garwood that cut the lead to 14 with just under eight minutes to go.
The late effort proved to be futile, as the Vikings extended their lead again with one final nail in the coffin. Running back Malik Walker’s second touchdown of the day with six minutes remaining made it 42-21, and the score would stay that way until the end.
Brasch finished with 287 passing yards and two touchdowns in his second game back from injury. Meanwhile, Coleman recorded 140 receiving yards and one touchdown on three catches. The Vikings, however, outgained the Mustangs with 405 total yards compared to Cal Poly’s 337.
Cal Poly will look to build on the steady improvement of the offense next week in their final road game this season against Sacramento State on Saturday, Vov. 6 at 6 p.m. inside Hornet Stadium.