One of the big question marks facing the Cal Poly football team was how it would replace the contribution of running back Deonte Williams, who had the second-highest single-season rushing total in program history last season.
In the Mustangs’ 38-16 victory over San Diego at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Saturday, Kristaan Ivory answered that one almost immediately.
The junior slotback took a quick pitch around the left side and sprinted 81 yards up the sideline on Cal Poly’s second play from scrimmage to give the Mustangs a 7-0 first-quarter lead.
Last season, Ivory ran for 728 yards and eight touchdowns backing up Williams, who had 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns.
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In the first half alone Saturday, Ivory had already surpassed his career-high rushing mark of 100 yards in the 2012 season finale at Northern Arizona.
By the second-half kickoff against the Toreros, Ivory had team highs with 10 carries, 111 yards and two touchdowns, scoring from 2 yards out with nine seconds left in the second quarter.
He finished with 185 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries — all game highs.
LOVE TO REDSHIRT
New Mexico State transfer cornerback Dominique Love was a candidate to start in training camp.
As it turns out, Love, the younger brother of Mustangs basketball guard Maliik Love, will redshirt this season and successfully petitioned the NCAA to regain a season of eligibility, a Cal Poly spokesman said.
It appears Love’s first season with the Aggies will not count against him, and when he starts next season, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback will be a redshirt freshman with four years to play.
RAMOS STEPS IN FOR ONTKO
Former Wisconsin transfer Cameron Ontko was tabbed to move into the starting lineup to replace four-year starter Kennith Jackson, who graduated, after
Ontko found success rotating in as the Mustangs’ fourth linebacker last season.
But when Ontko was held out with a knee injury, the start went to senior Xavier Ramos, a
St. Bonaventure High product who once committed to Oregon and converted from safety after arriving in San Luis Obispo.
Ramos contributed right away, recovering a second-quarter fumble and leading the Mustangs with nine total tackles at the half. He finished with a game-high 13 tackles.
RIGHETTI PRODUCT SHINES FOR USD
San Diego junior safety Matt Miller was all over the field for the Toreros, leading them with six tackles in the first half, including a jarring hit on a scramble by Cal Poly quarterback Vince Moraga.
Miller is a former Righetti High standout, and his older brother Daniel Miller was a Mustangs golfer. Miller finished with a team-high 11 tackles.
RECRUIT MAKES UNOFFICIAL VISIT
Poway High running back Lance Mudd, the first Mustangs recruit from the class of 2014 to go public with his verbal commitment, was on hand to watch the game between his future school and his local FCS program.
Mudd’s senior high school season does not begin until Sept. 6, when Poway will play at Carlsbad La Costa Canyon.