Cal Poly

Cal Poly Notebook: Mustangs offense misses Johnson

Cal Poly wide receiver Eric Gardley makes a diving catch for a 38-yard gain in the second quarter in Saturday night’s game.
Cal Poly wide receiver Eric Gardley makes a diving catch for a 38-yard gain in the second quarter in Saturday night’s game. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Dominique Johnson’s solid start to his career in a Cal Poly uniform took a hit in Saturday’s 21-14 win over South Dakota State.

Johnson has been the most productive Mustangs receiver since transferring from UCLA in the offseason. Prior to the game against the Jackrabbits, he had just one fewer catch than the rest of the team combined (12).

No other single player had more than two receptions entering the game.

Johnson was off to another productive start Saturday at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, catching four balls for 31 yards midway through the first quarter.

But after a nondescript running play away from his side of the field, Johnson came up cradling his arm to his abdomen and had to leave the field.

After being checked out by Cal Poly’s trainer on the sideline, Johnson’s shoulder pads were removed, and an ice bag was wrapped around his left shoulder.

He could be seen walking around on the sideline, and eventually had his left arm in a sling, but he did not return to the game.Walsh said that he is week-to-week with an unspecified shoulder injury.

Without Johnson, the 15-play 48-yard drive died at the South Dakota State 38-yard line, and Cal Poly punted, trailing 7-0.Though he has been the go-to guy, the Mustangs got by without Johnson on their next drive.

Cal Poly quarterback Tony Smith hit Eric Gardley streaking up the sideline for a 38-yard gain. Gardley had gotten behind his defender and made a diving catch and landed 2 yards shy of the goal line.

David Mahr punched in a touchdown run on the next play to tie the score.

Grayson gets a reduced role in first half

Cal Poly running back Jono Grayson’s production took a dip in the first half, and it looked like he might have been feeling out an injury as well.

The senior was coming off a career game against San Jose State where he rushed 15 times for 138 yards, and had 124 yards on eight carries against South Dakota State last season.

But after running four times for 22 yards, Grayson left the game and was on the sideline getting his legs stretched out by the trainer. Grayson appeared to be testing out his legs by lunging and pushing off.

Though Grayson returned in the second half, he’d be the third running back to miss time since the start of the season if any injury lingers.

Fellow senior Jon Hall has been out with a knee injury since going down at Ohio two weeks ago.

After arthroscopic surgery, Hall is not expected back for another week or two. Fullback Jordan Yocum was also injured after rushing for 130 yards against Ohio. After missing the San Jose State game, Yocum was back in the starting lineup and rushed for 43 yards on 13 attempts.

Mahr rushed four times for 8 yards in the first half in relief of Grayson.

Finally, a positive injury report

The Mustangs got more bad news on the injury front when cornerback Xavier Gardner went down after making a tackle late in the first half.

But on a positive note for Cal Poly, redshirt freshman linebacker Kenny Jackson started the game after fears that a shoulder injury against San Jose State would keep him from playing in the game.

Jackson’s backup, Quentin Greenlaw — who Jackson battled for the starting spot in training camp — is also hurt.

Greenlaw went down with an injury against Ohio and has not played since.

No other player is listed on the depth chart at will linebacker.

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