In the opening quarter of Saturday’s Big Sky Conference game against Northern Colorado, No. 15 Cal Poly ran the ball almost exclusively on first down, handing the ball off frequently to Deonte Williams.
But it was the passing game that led to big plays for the Mustangs.
The run-heavy Mustangs went to the air attack with big success, with quarterback Andre Broadous going for 95 yards midway through the opening quarter.
Broadous had his longest touchdown pass of the season with a 45-yard dart to Willie Tucker on the Mustangs’ second score to put Cal Poly ahead 14-7 in the first quarter.
Broadous nearly was sacked but escaped a tackler on a blitz by Northern Colorado and rolled left to find Tucker on a perfectly placed throw over the middle, leading to a breakaway score.
Cal Poly opened the game with sets of screen passes and runs by Williams before Broadous connected with Cole Stanford on a 38-yard toss to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Kristaan Ivory.
Northern Colorado stays close early
Northern Colorado stayed in the game in the first half by moving the ball fairly efficiently and taking advantage of a costly turnover by Cal Poly.
A fumble by Broadous in the first quarter set the Bears up at the Cal Poly 24-yard line.
About a minute later after a series of running plays, Tromaine Dennis had a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7.
The Mustangs defense stepped up after the Bears struck back with a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Seth Lobato to Darin McDonald on a 65-yard drive on nine plays before the close of the first quarter.
The Bears couldn’t muster much firepower in the second quarter, but they had an opportunity after another Cal Poly fumble by Chris Nicholls on a punt return ain Mustangs territory.
Cal Poly dominates second quarter
Cal Poly took the lead for good at 21-14 on a 37-yard touchdown run by Ivory in the second quarter.
The drive was extended when Williams got a first-down on a fourth-and-2 on the Bears’ 45-yard line.
After some bruising runs on a second-quarter drive, including a sideline collision that knocked a Bears defender backward, Williams took the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:09 left in the half to extend the lead to 28-14.