Cal Poly Football Earns First Win on Homecoming Weekend

Updated: November 8, 2017


On Saturday afternoon, Cal Poly football finally got its first win of 2017. In the end, Cal Poly did it their way. Five touchdowns — all on the ground. Defensive stability. Finally, an all-around game.

J-MO’s big game

Jared Mohamed celebrates a touchdown on Saturday night. By Owen Main

Cal Poly fans, be thankful for senior fullback Jared Mohamed. In a season when he’s been a constant both in play and attitude, Mohamed had 194 yards and two touchdowns in the first win of the season. 

Mohamed was a workhorse for the Mustangs, toting it 35 times in the game, but the key was probably when those carries came. Mohamed was fresh at halftime, only having 11 carries in the first half. Once Cal Poly got a lead late in the game, the fresh-legged senior had plenty in the tank to plow forward for six fourth-quarter first downs as Cal Poly milked the clock with the lead.  

Balance and shift

Freshman slot back Chuby Danu had a nice game against Portland State. By Owen Main

Cal Poly decided to shift their offensive personnel some last week in Davis. This week, it paid off. Freshmen Chuby Danu and Broc Mortensen got all the wingback carries on Saturday as Kyle Lewis manned his new position as a wide receiver on the edge. Lewis didn’t catch any passes, but Walsh complimented the blocking of the receivers, saying it was the best job they’ve done of blocking all season. 

Mortensen, a true freshman from Ventura, took the ball on the team’s first offensive play and made the most out of it. Breaking at least three tackles, Mortensen changed fields and scampered for 44 yards. After Mortensen caught an 11 yard pass from quarterback Jake Jeffrey a few plays later, fellow freshman Danu scored from seven yards out on the right edge. 

Freshman Broc Mortensen took control of the game early, rushing for 44 yards on Cal Poly’s first play. By Owen Main

The use of Danu and Mortensen and their early success kept Mohamed or Jeffrey from shouldering too much of the load early and set the tone for Cal Poly to be truly unpredictable on offense for the rest of the game. 

Danu would score two touchdowns on the night to go with 74 yards rushing. Mortensen only managed seven carries for 83 yards himself, but when you reel off 44 on your first carry, other teams are looking at you as a weapon. It’s weird to think that “stars” are bad on offense — they aren’t — but having and really using a variety of ball carriers is an important adjustment Cal Poly has made over the past few weeks. 

Defense finishes

With the ball, down by seven points, it seemed Portland State had scored a touchdown to tie the game when Davis Alexander found Charlie Taumoepeau in the back of the end zone with less than one minute to play. 

But Taumoepeau landed out of bounds beyond the end zone and the Mustangs were spared. On the next play, safety Mark Reza intercepted an Alexander pass to seal the game for Cal Poly. The difference between winning and losing isn’t that great very often. That razor’s edge was in full display in the final minute at Spanos. 

Cellar dwellers

With their first win of the season, Cal Poly vaulted out of the Big Sky cellar. With two conference games to play, Cal Poly joins Northern Colorado as a one-win team in conference play and Portland State remained winless on the season. 

Two left

Cal Poly will play Sacramento State (5-4, 4-2 in Big Sky Conference) at Spanos Stadium on Saturday night before finishing their season in Greeley, CO against the previously mentioned Northern Colorado team. Cal Poly hasn’t lost to Sacramento State in at least four seasons, the last loss coming in 2012 at home.

In the four Mustang wins since, they haven’t scored less than 36 points and have averaged over 48 points per game. 

Kickoff for Saturday’s home finale is set for 6:05 pm.

Photos by Owen Main.To view more photos, click here. If you just want to contribute to the cause, Venmo @Owen-Main or paypal