SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Kevin Thomson, who missed the last three weeks due to injury, returned to the lineup and passed for 247 yards and three touchdowns to lead Sacramento State to a 49-14 Big Sky Conference football win over Cal Poly on Saturday night inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Thomson completed nine of 16 passes, including 76-, 29- and two-yard scoring passes, as the Hornets improved to 6-4 overall and 5-2 in Big Sky games.
Held to just 141 yards rushing and 289 yards of total offense on Senior Night, Cal Poly fell to 1-9 and 1-6.
Thomson hit Jaelin Ratliff with a 76-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, Andre Lindsey with a 29-yarder in the second quarter and Isiah Hennie with a two-yard scoring pass in the third period for Sacramento State, which scored the first 49 points of the game and never looked back.
Cal Poly averted its first shutout since 1999 and its worse loss at home since 1949 by scoring twice on one-yard runs in the final 11 minutes of the game. Broc Mortensen and Reagan Enger scored for the Mustangs.
Senior fullback Jared Mohamed (pictured above) became the 21st Mustang in program history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for a single season. Needing 60 yards to reach the milestone, Mohamed rushed for 125 yards on 30 carries to lift his season total to 1,065 yards.
It was Mohamed's sixth 100-yard game of the season and seventh of his Mustang career.
Mortensen added 36 yards on seven trips while quarterback Jake Jeffrey completed 13 of 20 passes for 148 yards. Receiver J.J. Koski caught a career-high six passes for 67 yards and senior Kyle Lewis added five receptions for 60 yards.
Sacramento State's top rusher was BJ Perkinson with 164 yards on just seven rushes, breaking off a 77-yard run for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Elijah Dotson added 48 yards on six trips, including a 33-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
Andre Lindsey caught four passes for the Hornets, who still trail Cal Poly 20-17 in the all-time series.
Cal Poly turned the ball over twice while Sacramento State did not commit a turnover.
Linebacker Nik Navarro, starting for the injured R.J. Mazolewski, led the Mustangs with six tackles.
Elijah Wallace made nine stops for Sacramento State. Marcus Bruce recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and Ernest Jenkins intercepted a pass for the Hornets. Jenkins also scooped up the ball on a blocked field goal attempt and raced 74 yards for another Hornet touchdown.
Sacramento State accumulated 465 yards in total offense – 247 through the air and 218 on the ground – while Cal Poly mustered 289 total yards, 141 rushing and 148 passing.
Despite the lopsided loss, Cal Poly held the ball for 38 minutes, 45 seconds, 17 1/2 minutes more than Sacramento State, and produced a 22-11 advantage in first downs.
Last time Cal Poly lost by as many as 35 points at home was a 63-28 setback against UC Davis in 2000.
The Mustangs were shut out in the first half for the second time this season and were held without a touchdown in the opening 30 minutes of play for the fifth time in 10 games.
Sacramento State, which accumulated 14 tackles for lost yardage, including four sacks, beat Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for the first time since 1999. Mustang head coach Tim Walsh lost to the Hornets for only the third time in 20 meetings as Sacramento State clinched its third winning season in the last six years and remained in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big Sky, one game behind Northern Arizona, Weber State and Southern Utah, all 6-1.
Cal Poly's 19 seniors, including nickel back Aaryn Bouzos (above, right) were honored in a pregame ceremony.
Cal Poly wraps up its 2017 season next Saturday at Northern Colorado. The Bears fell to 2-7 overall and 1-6 in Big Sky games with a 37-7 loss at Montana.
Photos courtesy of Alexander Bohlen