Coming off a four-touchdown performance last week against Southern Utah, Cal Poly sophomore running back Kyle Lewis had an extra bit of motivation Saturday night.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Lewis pulled in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Chris Brown in the second quarter, helping stake the Mustangs to an early lead en route to a 36-14 win against visiting Sacramento State.
On the opposing sideline, Lewis’ younger brother, Sacramento State wide receiver Isiah Hennie, could only watch.
Hennie, an equally explosive sophomore listed at 5-7 and 150 pounds, finished the game with six catches for 46 yards and also returned three kickoffs for 40 more yards.
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Lewis caught a season-high three passes for 34 yards and the one touchdown. Playing largely in a reserve role this season, Lewis has scored eight touchdowns, which ranks second on the team to only Chris Brown.
“It was cool — I was talking trash the entire time,” Lewis said. “It would have been crazier if we were on opposite sides of the ball. But it was really cool. I’m glad I got to see him. We always look forward to that game.”
When Cal Poly went to Sacramento State last fall, Lewis played sparingly as a backup wide receiver. Hennie carved out a nice role as the Hornets’ top kick returner as a true freshman in 2014 and turned that in a starting spot at wide receiver this season.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a while,” Lewis said. “This year actually being a larger part of the offense, it was cool to actually show out a little bit.”
Inoke, Protheroe return, Mayes still sidelined
Senior linebacker Tu’uta Inoke, who did not travel with the Mustangs to Cedar City, Utah, last week, returned to the starting lineup against Sacramento State.
The 6-2, 248-pound Inoke made 10 tackles, improving his team-leading total to 76 this season.
“It was good to just come back out here tonight,” Inoke said. “Only three games left in my senior year.”
Sophomore fullback Joe Protheroe also returned from injury and contributed 73 yards on 17 carries and scored his sixth touchdown of the season. Protheroe traveled and dressed down against Southern Utah but he did not have a carry.
Senior Logan Mayes, who started the first seven games of the season at the left defensive end position, missed his second straight contest. Mayes did not travel to Southern Utah and was seen on the sideline in street clothes Saturday night.
Wild day in the Big Sky Conference
Southern Utah is the last remaining unbeaten team in the Big Sky Conference following its 34-23 victory over Montana State on Saturday afternoon in Bozeman, Mont.
Despite a late push, No. 4-ranked Eastern Washington was handed its first conference loss of the season, 52-30, at home against Northern Arizona. Tenth-ranked Portland State also lost Saturday, falling 35-32 against Northern Colorado.
Elsewhere in the Big Sky, No. 22 Montana defeated Idaho State in overtime and Weber State routed UC Davis.