SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Three takeaways early during the Cal Poly football team's Spring Game led the Mustang defense to 9-3 and 14-8 leads at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Friday night, but the offense rallied with a pair of touchdowns shortly after, on the way to a 43-31 win at the annual intrasquad exhibition.
The scoring format for the scrimmage awarded one point for first downs and two points per plays of over 20 yards (in addition to the usual six points for a touchdown plus one for an extra point), while the defense was able to score via turnovers (three points each), 3-and-outs (also three points apiece), stopping drives (one point) and sacks (also one).
Sophomore defensive back Bradley Mickey intercepted a Jake Jeffrey pass early on, before redshirt freshman end Myles Cecil forced a fumble recovered by senior tackle Tiasamo Savusa, tallying a 9-3 advantage for the defense, which had won the last two Spring Games.
Sophomore end Chris Flood also forced a fumble a bit later on, resulting in a 14-8 margin for the defense.
Jeffrey, however, answered with a 23-yard keeper on the ensuing possession, followed by a 20-yard run, en route to punching it into the end zone himself from a yard out and a 22-15 lead.
The defense would respond by forcing back-to-back 3-and-outs, however, to tie the game at 25-all, but the offense rebounded with a steady drive to move in front 31-27. Jeffrey then connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Michael Roth for an 18-yard touchdown pass, yielding a 38-27 lead.
A 24-yard run by redshirt freshman Will Semone effectively put the game out of reach late, at 41-27 for the offense.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kyle Reid rushed for a game-high 67 yards on 18 carries, while junior slot back Raven Middleton was next with 54 yards on 15 carries. Jeffrey finished 5-for-8 through the air for 50 yards.
Altogether on the evening, 11 different Mustang ball-carriers rushed 77 times in combining to rack up 331 yards on the ground.
Six different receivers were targeted by the dual quarterbacks on the night for 53 yards, as the offense gained 384 yards in all.
Sophomore linebacker Anthony Rosales and redshirt freshman defensive back Aaron Cooper each finished with a game-high seven tackles apiece, while sophomore defensive lineman Sean Davitt added six stops.
Sacks were tallied by redshirt freshman linebacker Fenton Will and freshman tackle Jojo Falo. Senior cornerback Jerek Rosales also had a pass breakup.
A total of 33 players made tackles on the night, as the defense forced four punts while both sides got looks at depth.
Cal Poly will open the upcoming season at North Dakota State on Sept. 1, before returning to Spanos Stadium to host Weber State in the home opener Sept. 8.
Final Statistics (Offense 43, Defense 31)
RUSHING -- Jacob Naschke 1-(-6); Kyle Reid 18-67; Joe Protheroe 2-10; CJ Cole 2-5; Broc Mortensen 3-2; Jake Jeffrey 9-52; Duy Tran-Sampson 11-42; Drew Hernandez 7-46; Trey Nahhas 4-15; Raven Middleton 15-54; Will Semone 5-44.
PASSING -- Kyle Reid 1-3-0 3; Jake Jeffrey 5-8-1 50.
RECEIVING -- Broc Mortensen 1-4; Malcolm Davis 1-5; Michael Roth 1-18; CJ Cole 1-3; Jacob Naschke 1-5; Daniel Sanchez 1-18.
Photos courtesy of Michael Glasgow