CHENEY, Wash. – Redshirt freshman quarterback Vernon Adams passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 7 Eastern Washington to a 34-17 victory over No. 16 Cal Poly in a non-conference football game between two Big Sky Conference teams Saturday afternoon at Roos Field.
Averaging nearly eight yards per play and amassing 542 yards in total offense, Eastern Washington improved to 7-2 on the season while Cal Poly, which won its first seven games of the season, fell to 7-2. Both teams remain 5-1 in Big Sky games.
Cal Poly could not take advantage of a 54-yard kickoff return by Chris Nicholls and an interception by Jordan Williams. In addition, a 74-yard Mustang drive to the Eastern Washington 1-yard line in the third quarter was stopped on third and fourth downs.
The loss spoiled another game over the 100-yard mark by Mustang senior slotback Deonte Williams, his eighth in nine games this season, tying the school record set by James Noble in 2005. Williams finished with exactly 100 yards on 20 carries, lifting his season total to 1,194 yards, No. 5 on Cal Poly's all-time single-season rushing list.
Williams can surpass the school record for 100-yard games in a season next week and he needs 385 yards to surpass Noble's single-season rushing mark of 1,578 yards.
Sophomore slotback Kristaan Ivory added a career-high 95 yards on 10 trips, the third time in the last five games that Ivory has surpassed the 80-yard mark, following 89 yards at Weber State and 80 at Sacramento State.
Senior quarterback Andre Broadous completed 10 of 18 passes for 129 yards, but threw his third career interception. Sophomore wide receiver Willie Tucker (pictured at right) had a team single-game high five catches for 75 yards.
Eastern Washington built a 21-10 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game on a one-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Bronson and scoring passes by Adams of 28 yards to Greg Herd and 43 yards to Brandon Kaufman.
Jimmy Pavel added a 38-yard field goal with 2:07 to play in the first half, giving the 2010 FCS champion Eagles a 24-10 halftime lead.
Cal Poly's only points of the first half came on a season-long-tying 51-yard field goal by Bobby Zalud and a four-yard touchdown run by Ivory. Zalud also kicked a 51-yarder at Wyoming on Sept. 15.
The Mustangs drove to the Eastern Washington 28-yard line late in the first half and Broadous gained four yards on fourth and three, but a holding penalty negated the gain and Jordan Tonani intercepted Broadous on the next play.
Adams' third touchdown pass of the game was a 10-yarder to Kaufman with 6:26 to go in the third quarter and Pavel added a 33-yard field goal with 10:15 to play in the game.
Cal Poly closed the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Broadous to Brandon Michalkiewicz with 2:26 to play. Eastern Washington recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
The Mustangs' 17 points are the lowest for a game this season.
Cal Poly's defensive leaders were safety Alex Hubbard with 11 tackles and linebackers Nick Dzubnar, Johnny Millard and Kennith Jackson, each with 10 stops. Neither team recorded a sack.
Adams completed 19 of 29 passes, including five to Nicholas Edwards. Quincy Forte rushed for 83 yards and Bronson 82.
Cal Poly can still clinch a share of the Big Sky title with wins in its final two games. The Mustangs host Idaho State next Saturday at 6:05 p.m. in Alex G. Spanos Stadium, followed by the regular-season finale Nov. 17 at Northern Arizona.