Cal Poly football wrapped up its 2022 season with a comeback win over Portland State, 49-42, on Saturday, Nov. 19 inside Mustang Memorial Field.
The Mustangs (2-9, 1-7 Big Sky) overcame early 14-0 and 21-14 deficits before coming back to defeat the Vikings (4-7, 3-5 Big Sky).
After an opening drive punt from Portland State, redshirt junior quarterback Spencer Brasch marched the Cal Poly offense down the field to the Viking 21-yard line. An offensive penalty pushed the Mustangs back, forcing a 49-yard field goal attempt, which sophomore kicker Jaden Ohlsen missed to keep the game scoreless.
The Vikings took over and produced a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive to open up the scoring and take a 7-0 lead. Following a Cal Poly punt, Portland State took just 58 seconds to score their second touchdown of the evening, extending their lead to 14-0 to end the first quarter.
Opening the second quarter, Brasch found graduate receiver Chris Coleman down the middle of the field for a 30-yard score, cutting the Viking lead to 21-7.
Following a Portland State punt, Cal Poly’s offense once again sliced and diced its way down the field. On 3rd-and-19, Brasch found redshirt sophomore receiver Giancarlo Woods down the right sideline for a 33-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.
The Vikings didn’t flinch, scoring on a 76-yard rush to go back ahead, 21-14.
The Mustang offense stalled on its next possession, but the defense stepped up. Freshman defensive back Brian Dukes intercepted Viking quarterback Dante Chachere and returned it for a pick-six to tie the game back at 21-21.
Cal Poly’s defense came up big again on the next drive. Graduate defensive back Zach Hernandez intercepted new Viking quarterback Logan Gonzalez, returning it to the Portland State 17-yard line, with a Viking penalty placing the ball at the eight.
Brasch then found redshirt sophomore receiver Zedekiah Centers for a quick five-yard score to give Cal Poly its first lead of the night, 28-21, going into halftime.
Opening the second half, both offenses sputtered in their first two drives, resulting in three punts and a turnover on downs.
Looking to kickstart the offense, Brasch found Centers for a 64-yard touchdown, his second of the game, to extend the Mustang lead to 35-21 to end the third quarter.
The Vikings would not go away, scoring quickly to start the fourth quarter, slicing the Cal Poly advantage to 35-28.
After relying on the passing game all night, the Mustangs extended their lead to 42-28 on a 12-yard rushing score from freshman running back Paul Holyfield.
In a span of five and a half minutes, the Viking offense scored twice to tie the scoring back at 42-42 with just under three minutes remaining.
Following a penalty on the kickoff, Cal Poly began its drive from its 40-yard line. Brasch and the offense cruised to the Viking 14-yard line before freshman running back Troy Fletcher found the endzone to give the Mustangs a 49-42 advantage with 47 seconds left.
Portland State looked to answer, but an interception by redshirt sophomore linebacker David Meyer sealed the victory for Cal Poly.
Brasch finished with 415 passing yards and four touchdowns, both career highs.
The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Mustangs and ended a disappointing 2022 season on a high note.
The Cal Poly program will look to build off this momentum in the offseason in preparation for its 2023 campaign.