Former Templeton High standout Jake Romanelli carried the load on the ground for the Cal Poly football team, and the No. 19 Mustangs held on for a 24-23 win over Southern Utah in the Great West Football Conference opener Saturday at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Subbing in at fullback for injured starter Jordan Yocum, Romanelli had a career-high 24 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown and had two drive-extending gains in a fourth-quarter drive for the final field goal.
The Thunderbirds missed a potential game-tying extra point with nine seconds left after flirting with a two-point conversion attempt.
Southern Utah is winless in nine straight games against Cal Poly and has not won in San Luis Obispo since 1987.
For more on Saturday's game, see Sunday's print edition of The Tribune.