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.
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For more on Saturday's game, see Sunday's print edition of The Tribune.