Mustangs stampede past Jackrabbits

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Mid-way through the fourth quarter, the Jackrabbits caught a much-needed break.

After forcing talented Mustangs’ Jonathan Dally to his first interception of the season, the Jacks had momentum on their side. SDSU was down by 14 points and driving.

Cal Poly, however, squashed any comeback attempt and beat the Jacks 42-28 at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium on Oct. 18. The night game had 8,311 in attendance.

The issuing drive did not fare well for SDSU as the Jacks had two sacks and a botched screen. SDSU was forced to a three-and-out.

Such was the night for the Jacks, as they did not achieve their goals when opportunity knocked.

“Against a good team like that you have to take advantage of the opportunities you create, and we didn’t do that tonight,” said Jacks’ quarterback Ryan Berry. “I thought the game play was perfect; we just didn’t execute tonight.”

The two sacks given up on the key drive were part of a 10-sack night. Six different Cal Poly linemen had at least one sack.

The difference in rushing yards and the large number of sacks allowed was due to two linemen being out before and another during the game. Still, Jackrabbits’ head coach John Stiegelmeier does not accept excuses for his team.

“Ten sacks in a football game is totally unacceptable,” he said.

The coach was not just critical of the offensive linemen, he was critical of the whole team.

“We flat out didn’t come close to playing our best football,” Stiegelmeier said. “When you line up against one of the best in America, justified, you need to play your best football.”

Part of the Jacks’ (3-4, 2-1 in conference play) performance was opportunities wasted.

With just less than a minute left to play in the first half of the game, the Mustangs’ (4-1, 1-0 in the Great West), punter Harland Parther forced a quick punt into the wind in Cal Poly’s end zone. The punt landed 18 yards away ? continued from b1

from Prather, and SDSU had a chance for six points going into the half.

Berry’s three passes on the drive went incomplete, and the Jacks needed to settle for an easy Peter Reifenrath 35-yard field goal. The field goal was no good, much to the delight of Cal Poly’s coaches in the press box.

Despite having the lead for most of the game, Cal Poly’s head coach Rich Ellerson knew that the Jackrabbits would not give up at any point. Ellerson told his team the “scoreboard is a lie.” Ellerson preached that his kids live in the moment for the non-league football game.

“It was a big deal to us because our defense prides itself on getting to the quarterback, especially against an explosive offense like this,” said Mustangs’ linebacker Carlton Gillespie. “They can throw the ball down the field if they need to.”

Berry did find his two favorite wide receivers 16 different times for three touchdowns. Glen Fox had over 100 yards with eight catches and a touchdown. JaRon Harris, who has been a thorn in the Mustangs’ side in his career, had two touchdowns and 95 yards on eight catches.

SDSU did manage to stop preseason All-American wide receiver Ramses Barden.

“We acknowledged that Ramses Barden is a good football player, and we put some stock into stopping him,” said Stiegelmeier. “I don’t know if by definition whether we did or not, but he wasn’t as much of a factor as in other games.”

But the passing game did not tell the story of the game, as Cal Poly dominated the rushing game.

At the end of the game, Cal Poly had 287 rushing yards, compared to SDSU’s 38. Cal Poly’s Jono Grayson had 124 yards on eight rushes; most of his yardage came on an 81-yard rush, which was originally stopped at the line of the scrimmage.

SDSU will travel to winless Indiana State in hopes of ending its two-game losing streak.

#1.882309:3861876153.jpg:SDSU_vs_CALPOL_fball_sab-0113.jpg:SDSU’s Danny Batten records a sack on Cal Poly Mustangs’ quarterback Jonathan Dally Oct. 18 at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. SDSU lost 42-28.:Stephen Brua#1.882308:821038774.jpg:SDSU_vs_CALPOL_fball_sab-0032.jpg:SDSU sophomore, Conrad Kjerstad (18) dives to tackle the ‘Stangs ball carrier Jono Grayson (9) of Cal Poly. Grayson rushed for a game-high 124 yards on eight carries on Oct. 18 at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. :Stephen Brua