Mustang Daily File Photo
Mustang Daily Staff Report
With the Cal Poly football team down 10 and driving midway through the fourth quarter, the Mustangs had the momentum in their favor against Mountain West Conference foe Colorado State on Saturday.
But senior kicker Bobby Zalud’s 32-yard field goal attempt with 8:11 to go was blocked giving the Rams an opportunity to ice the game on their ensuing drive instead of seeing the Mustangs (1-2) pull within seven. The home side did just that, as quarterback Garrett Grayson threw a touchdown to Kivon Cartwright to solidify a 34-17 loss for Cal Poly at Hughes Stadium.
Grayson finished 21 of 30 for 297 yards and two touchdowns as Cal Poly allowed 533 total yards to the Rams offense on the day.
Colorado State (1-2) scored on its first five possessions putting the Mustangs in a hole they couldn’t escape.
The Rams opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run by Donnell Alexander just 2:30 into the first quarter. Cal Poly responded with a 46-yard Zalud field goal before Colorado State added two field goals of its own to end the first period 13-3.
On the first play of the second quarter, senior fullback Akaninyene Umoh broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run to help cut the deficit to 10, but Colorado State pulled away later in the period scoring two touchdowns to extend its lead to 27-10 by halftime.
The Mustangs’ defense held the Rams scoreless in the third quarter as sophomore and third string-turned-starting quarterback Chris Brown hit junior receiver Willie Tucker for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 3:46 to play in the quarter to bring the score to 27-17.
But just as Cal Poly was picking up steam, Colorado State blocked Zalud’s punt in the final quarter allowing for Grayson’s touchdown pass to seal the victory for the Rams.
Brown finished 11 of 20 for 164 yards and a touchdown pass in his first career start. He also led the Mustangs with 14 carries and 61 yards on the ground. Junior slotback Kristaan Ivory finished with 13 carries for 55 yards after averaging 141 yards entering the contest.
The Mustangs have a bye next weekend before they travel north to take on Portland State on Sept. 16 and return to Alex G. Spanos Stadium to face Yale the following weekend.