By Eric Burdick
Special to College Sports Journal
Editor’s Note: This story is courtesy of www.gopoly.com
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Jonathan Gonzales kicked a 27-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining to lift No. 13/14 Portland State to a 38-35 Big Sky Conference football victory over Cal Poly on Saturday night before 11,075 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Cal Poly tied the game at 35-35 on a 29-yard run around left end by Kyle Lewis with 2:34 to play. Portland State then drive 52 yards on 10 plays to set up Gonzales’ game-winning kick.
The win improved the Vikings’ overall record to 6-1 and Big Sky mark to 3-1, one game behind first-place Southern Utah. Cal Poly, playing its seventh consecutive team ranked in the national polls this season, fell to 2-5 and 1-3.
Cal Poly, despite playing without starting quarterback Chris Brown, compiled advantages of 420-154 in rushing yards, 536-386 in total, 27-20 in first downs and a 35-to-25 minute edge in time of possession, but lost for the fifth time in its last six games.
Cal Poly, which lost four fumbles, overcame two early lost fumbles and built a 21-13 lead early in the third quarter on a one-yard run by fullback Jared Mohamed.
The game was tied at 21-21, 28-28 and 35-35 before Gonzales kicked his game winner.
Junior slot back Kori Garcia produced his third 100-yard game of the year and eighth of his Mustang career, netting 131 yards on 18 carries.
Quarterback Khaleel Jenkins, playing his first game in a Mustang uniform, added 93 yards on 16 trips, including a 50-yard touchdown romp late in the second quarter. He completed three of 14 passes for 59 additional yards.
Sophomore fullback Joe Protheroe rushed for 75 yards, Kyle Lewis 55 yards and Mohamed 46. All three scored one touchdown.
Other Mustang score was on a flea flicker as wide receiver Kory Fox took a pitch from Jenkins and hit Kyle Lewis with a 57-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter, tying the game at 28-28.
Portland State quarterback Alex Kuresa completed 16 of 25 passes for 232 yards and two scores, a 20-yarder to Darnell Adams and a 13-yarder to Trent Riley. He also rushed for 101 yards and two more touchdowns, runs of 40 and 15 yards, and hit Josh Kraght on a two-point conversion pass.
Riley caught five passes for 88 yards.
Mustang linebacker Burton De Koning notched nine tackles while R.J. Mazolewski and Tu’uta Inoke, also linebackers, each added eight stops. The Cal Poly defense scored a season-high four sacks among the 10 tackles for lost yardage and safety Kaulin Blair earned his second interception of the year.
Jeremy Lutali made 10 tackles for Portland State.
Cal Poly resumes Big Sky Conference play next Saturday at Southern Utah.