Posted: Oct 5, 2013 7:25 PM by Bill Halter
Updated: Oct 6, 2013 6:52 PM
The first ever football match up between the Ivy League and the Big Sky went to the Ivy league and now Cal Poly is 2-3. The 18th ranked Mustangs had a number of costly turnovers and penalties in a 24-10 loss to Yale.
Senior Bobby Zalud made a 53-yard field goal as the first half ended, giving Cal Poly a 10-7 lead at the break. Yale's defense held the Mustangs to just 37 yards, one first down and zero points in the second half. It was the first time Cal Poly has been held scoreless in the second half since the final game of the 2010 season, a 22-21 loss to UC Davis.
Yale Senior quarterback Henry Furman threw for 199 yards and two second half touchdowns while junior tailback Tyler Varga rushed for 114 yards. The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 which is one more win then they had all of last year.
The loss snapped Cal Poly's six game home winning streak and now leaves them little wiggle room the rest of the season to be able to earn an at-large berth to the FCS Playoffs. The good news for the Mustangs is that it was a non-conference game and they are still 1-0 in the Big Sky with seven conference games to go.
Yale only managed five first downs and 116 yards in the first half but finished with 357 yards while Cal Poly gained just 329 yards.
Cal Poly sophomore quarterback Chris Brown had career highs of 19 completions in 26 attempts but most of the throws were quick passes to the perimeter and he only threw for 104 yards. Brown was intercepted twice and sacked twice. He fumbled four times but only lost one of them.
The Mustangs had four turnovers after only committing two through the first four games of the season.
Yale took a 7-0 lead with 3:52 to play in the first quarter as Derek Russell ran a fake field goal in from three yards out. The series started at the Cal Poly 40 yard line after a blocked punt.
The Mustangs answered with a 67-yard drive finished off by fullback Brandon Howe's 33 yard touchdown run. Cal Poly blocked a field goal with 52 seconds left in the second quarter and then got into position for Zalud's 53-yard field goal. It was Zalud's longest field goal as a Mustang and second-longest of his collegiate career - he kicked a 57-yarder while playing for Arkansas State.
Yale marched the opening series of the second half into Cal Poly territory and tied the game at 10 with a Parker Toms 31-yard field goal. Keith Coty then capped a 75-yard drive with an eight-yard catch from Furman as the Bulldogs took a 17-10 lead to the fourth quarter.
With 3:24 to play, Furman threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris Smith on 3rd and 8 to make it 24-10. The touchdown capped a 10 play, 98-yard drive.
A third-quarter Cal Poly touchdown on a 67-yard pass from Brown to freshman Cam Akins was wiped out by an illegal formation penalty. The Mustangs committed nine penalties for 91 yards.
Cal Poly junior slotback Kristaan Ivory rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries and caught eight passes for 34 yards. Junior wide receiver Willie Tucker made three receptions before suffering a knee injury in the second quarter. He did not return.
Senior linebacker Johnny Millard and junior linebacker Cameron Ontko led Cal Poly with 13 tackles a piece. Sophomore cornerback Karlton Dennis came down with the Mustangs second interception of the season after a tip at the line of scrimmage by Andrew Alcaraz.
Yale Junior wide receiver Deon Randall had seven catches for 79 yards. Randall is from San Diego and was offered a scholarship by Cal Poly out of high school.
In his post game press conference Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh praised Yale's performance but said his team gave it away. "(Yale) deserved to win today, they outplayed us. I don't really have a lot of good things to say right now about us so I'll give praise to Yale. They played a good football game, they played mistake free and they capitalized on all the mistakes we made and we made enough. Probably more than we made all of last season" said Walsh.
Senior defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz agreed with Walsh. "This is a rough one, as you can see we had a lot of mistakes, a lot of penalties. You can't just say oh they outplayed us, they're just a better team. No way, we made a lot of mistakes and took ourselves out of the game" said Grosz who had six tackles.
Cal Poly will host Weber State for its Hall of Fame Game next Saturday at 6:05. The Wildcats are 1-5, 0-2 in the Big Sky.
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