Brian De Los Santos
On the Mustang’s first offensive play, Andre Broadous connected with Willie Tucker for a 48-yard score. Deonte Williams then punched in a 9-yard touchdown run on the team’s second.
Seventeen seconds, two touchdowns.
And they weren’t done.
Cal Poly gained a season-high 505 rushing yards, the most the team’s gained at the Division I level, and rode 10 touchdowns to defeat Idaho State 70-14 on Saturday night in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
“It felt great from beginning to end,” quarterback Andre Broadous said. “Coming in, all the seniors came together and said we wanted to make this something special, and we put up 70 points.
“We knew from the first play we wanted to be real explosive.”
Indeed, they were. The Mustangs gained a season-high 650 yards of total offense and scored the most points in a game since posting 74 on the board against Simon Fraser in 1968. They kept it moving during both halves and scored 28 points in the first quarter.
After the two touchdowns in the opening minute of possession, Broadous connected with Cole Stanford for a 31-yard touchdown pass and Williams scored another, from three yards out.
Cal Poly then added two more scores in the second quarter. Williams punched in a 44-yard run to make it 35-7, and then Broadous connected with Brandon Michalkiewicz for a 13-yard score — Broadous’ third passing touchdown of the night.
“When it was 28-0, I pretty much knew we were going to win, I just didn’t know by how much,” head coach Tim Walsh said. “But I wanted to make sure our offense finished with a positive. When I took them out, I wanted them to make sure they had that one last touchdown.”
That one last touchdown turned into four more. Akaninyene Umoh took off for a 6-yard score in the third, and then Alex Hubbard grabbed a ricochet interception and took it back 15 yards for a touchdown.
In the fourth, Rocky Meszaros scored on a 47-yard rush and Ryan Solomon scored on a 8-yard run to cap the Mustangs’ scoring.
The win might have been what the Mustangs needed. After starting the season 7-0, the team dropped two straight losses to Sacramento State and Eastern Washington during the past two weeks. They were then able to follow that with a 56-point home win on senior night.
“I was really proud that our players showed up and put them away early on,” Walsh said. “Now, we’re right where we want to be.”
Williams helped the team get there. He finished with 125 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. It was his ninth 100-yard game this season, breaking James Noble’s school record of eight 100-yard games in 2005.
“I know Cal Poly is a running school, so for me to be in the ranks of that, it’s an honor,” Williams said. “I owe it all to my offensive line.”
The win now puts Cal Poly at 8-2 (6-1 Big Sky Conference) with a chance to finish in a three-way tie atop the Big Sky. Eastern Washington, Montana State and the winner of next week’s Cal Poly-Northern Arizona game all have a chance to finish at 7-1.
And while tiebreakers may take the conference’s automatic playoff berth out of Cal Poly’s hands, the Mustangs may still have a chance at an at-large berth. The Mustangs are just going to have to get past 8-2 (6-1 Big Sky) Northern Arizona next week.
“It doesn’t get any bigger,” Walsh said. “That’s what you do it for; this is the whole deal.”