OGDEN, Utah – Josh Burton's interception with seven minutes remaining thwarted a Cal Poly comeback as Weber State, which scored the first 15 points of the game, defeated the No. 16/20 Mustangs 22-15 in a Big Sky Conference football game Saturday afternoon at Stewart Stadium.
Tied at 15-15, Weber State drove 58 yards early in the fourth quarter, converting four third-down plays on the way to the go-ahead touchdown, a two-yard run by Brady May, with 9:09 to play.
On Cal Poly's next drive, the Mustangs picked up one first down before senior quarterback Dano Graves threw just his fourth interception of the season. After Burton's theft at midfield, Weber State marched 34 yards to the Cal Poly 16, but Taylor Hintze missed a 33-yard field goal attempt wide left, giving the Mustangs one more chance.
Graves drove Cal Poly 46 yards to the Weber State 34, but on fourth down his pass to J.J. Koski was batted down by Trey Hosking with 39 seconds to play.
Both teams are 6-4 on the season. Weber State improved its Big Sky mark to 5-2 for third place alone while Cal Poly slipped into a fourth-place tie with Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah, all at 4-3.
Weber State built its 15-0 lead with two touchdown passes by Jadrian Clark and a 33-yard field goal by Taylor Hintze. Clark hit Andrew Vollert with an 18-yard scoring pass and Drew Batchelor with a 16-yard pass.
Cal Poly, which had yet to be shut out in the first half this season, avoided that late in the second quarter, driving 50 yards in seven plays. Junior fullback Joe Protheroe capped the march with a one-yard run 38 seconds before halftime.
Cal Poly also received the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards on 16 plays to tie the game. D.J. Peluso ran 19 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown and also ran for the two-point conversion.
But the Mustangs could not find the end zone the rest of the way, forced to punt once, the interception by Burton and the pass breakup by Hoskins ending the three drives.
Cal Poly was held under 200 yards rushing for the first time since the 2015 season finale, netting 190 yards on the ground. Protheroe finished with 65 yards on 18 carries while Kori Garcia added 57 yards on 14 trips and Peluso 50 yards on six carries.
Graves completed seven of 16 passes for 101 yards and Kory Fox (pictured above) caught three of his passes.
Clark was 23 of 32 for 186 yards and two touchdowns for Weber State. Both Batchelor and Vollert caught six passes for the Wildcats.
Senior linebacker Chris Santini made 16 tackles to lead Cal Poly defensively.
Final game of the 2016 regular season will be played next Saturday against Northern Colorado at 6:05 p.m. in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.