Junior quarterback Jordan La Secla passed for 172 yards and two scores while junior running back Lamon Muldrow rushed for 184 yards and one touchdown as San Jose State rallied in the second half to beat No. 16/14 Cal Poly 19-9 in a non-conference football game Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
La Secla completed 18 of 32 passes, including scoring strikes to Jalal Beauchman and Marquis Avery, as the Spartans (1-3) earned their first win of the season after losses to USC, Utah and Stanford.
Cal Poly falls to 1-2.
Muldrow carried the ball 20 times and scored on a one-yard run to clinch the victory with 4:33 to play.
A 53-yard run around right end by senior slotback Jono Grayson with 7:45 remaining in the first quarter gave Cal Poly a 6-0 lead. Junior Chris Pinto’s PAT kick was blocked.
Pinto followed with a 30-yard field goal with 3:25 to go in the second quarter for a 9-0 Mustang advantage. The kick capped a 57-yard, 10-play drive.
San Jose State managed to get on the scoreboard late in the second period as La Secla connected with Beauchman on an eight-yard scoring pass with 31 seconds to play before intermission. Tyler Cope’s extra-point kick missed to the right.
Grayson netted 113 of his career-high 138 rushing yards in the first half, surpassing the 100-yard mark for the third time in his Mustang career. He ran for 124 yards against South Dakota State a year ago and 127 yards against Northern Colorado in 2007.
San Jose State took advantage of a Cal Poly turnover to take its first lead of the game midway through the third quarter.
A fumble by Mustang junior quarterback Tony Smith on a mishandled handoff was recovered by the Spartans’ Tanner Burns at the Cal Poly nine, and Avery
capped the short drive with a seven-yard touchdown catch thrown by La Secla. Cope’s PAT kick gave the Spartans a 13-9 lead with 5:07 to play in the period.
After holding Cal Poly on its next drive, San Jose State drove 68 yards but Cope missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide to the right two minutes into the final quarter.
The Mustangs were faced with poor field position throughout the second half, starting two drives at their own one and two others at their own 22 and 23.
Cal Poly drove 71 yards to the San Jose State 6-yard line, but Pinto’s 27-yard field goal attempt was blocked by former Atascadero High School standout Travis
Jones with 5:57 to play.
San Jose State drove 80 yards in the next 90 seconds for the clinching score. Muldrow ran 72 yards to set up his scoring run, a two-yard plunge. Another missed
PAT kick by Cope left the Spartans with a 19-9 advantage with 4:33 to go.
Cal Poly drove to the Spartan 31-yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 1:41 to play.
Smith, who completed just one pass last week at Ohio, connected on 10 of 25 attempts for 135 yards. He was intercepted once. Junior Dominique Johnson, the transfer from UCLA, caught six passes for 93 yards, a Mustang career high and one short of his UCLA high for catches in a game.
Mustang sophomore fullback Jordan Yocum, who netted a career-high 130 yards on 27 carries last week, was held out of Saturday’s game because of a minor hip injury. Sophomore fullback Jake Romanelli replaced Yocum and gained 37 yards on 10 carries. He also caught one pass.
Mustang junior linebacker Marty Mohamed recorded nine tackles while freshman linebacker Kenny Jackson had seven. Junior safety Scottie Cordier intercepted a Spartan pass.
After playing two Football Bowl Subdivision teams the last two weeks, Cal Poly will play a pair of top-20 Football Championship Subdivision schools the next two weeks.
The Mustangs will host South Dakota State on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and visit Montana in two weeks.