The Cal Poly football team surrendered seven unanswered touchdowns during the first three quarters against Sacramento State Saturday night, ultimately falling 49-14 in the Mustangs’ final home game of the season.
The lone bright spot for the Mustangs (1-9, 1-6) came late in the third quarter when senior fullback Jared Mohamed gashed the Hornets’ (6-4, 5-2) defense for a 41-yard rush down the middle of the field. The run helped push Mohamed over the 1000-yard mark for the season, the 21st Mustang to do so.
Though Mohamed found some success on the ground later in the game, the Mustangs’ offense never found their rhythm and their defense couldn’t do anything to stop Sacramento State.
“I dont think we played well in any phase of the game,” Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said. “Overall, just a poor performance all the way around and I take responsibility for that.”
The Hornets wasted no time getting in the endzone. On the third play of the game, Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson connected with receiver Jaelin Ratliff on a 76-yard streak down the sideline to give the Hornets an early 7-0 lead.
After several stalled drives from both teams, the Mustangs marched down the field to just outside the redzone before the drive stalled. Cal Poly junior kicker Casey Sublette lined up for a makeable field goal, but the Hornets blocked and returned the kick the other way for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, the Hornets found the endzone again on another scoop-and-score. Mustang freshman quarterback Jake Jeffrey fumbled inside his own five-yard-line before the ball bounced back into the Mustangs’ endzone where Hornets’ safety Marcus Bruce fell on the ball for a touchdown.
The two turnovers proved to be too much for the Mustangs to overcome, as the team continued to give up big plays on defense throughout the rest of the night while the Mustangs offense failed to move the ball until the Hornets pulled their starters late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s such a dramatic change and such an exciting thing for the other team,” Mohamed said. “It’s tough when things like that happen, but we gotta keep persevering.”
The Hornets continued to pour it on the Mustangs, scoring again before halftime to take a 28-0 lead into the break.
After a 77-yard touchdown run from Hornets running back BJ Perkinson late in the third quarter put Sacramento State up 49-0, they pulled their starters and coasted to victory.
Freshman slotback Broc Mortensen finally pushed the Mustangs into the endzone in the fourth quarter, narrowly avoiding Cal Poly’s first shutout since 1999. However, the score was essentially meaningless as the Mustangs still trailed by an insurmountable 42 points.
Senior fullback Reagan Enger added a garbage-time touchdown for the Mustangs five minutes before the final whistle, but the 35 point differential was still Cal Poly’s largest scoring deficit this season.
“We had battled in every game and tonight we didn’t battle,” Walsh said. “Our motto all year long has been to fight the fight, and I don’t think we fought the fight tonight. You don’t fight the fight, you get knocked out.”
The Mustangs travel to Greeley, Colorado Saturday to face Northern Colorado (2-7, 1-6) in their final game of the season.