May 3, 2014 8:37 PM by Bill Halter
The Cal Poly offense beat the defense in the Spring Game despite not scoring a single touchdown. The offense won the game 30-26 based on the modified scoring system that awarded points for first downs, long plays and field goals. The defense earned points for turnovers, holding the offense scoreless on drives and for three-and-outs.
The 90-minute scrimmage was played at Alex G. Spanos Stadium with the offense wearing gold uniforms and the defense in white.
The two person Cal Poly quarterback battle lost one of the competitors in the first half. Dano Graves dropped to the ground in pain after running out of bounds on a running play. Graves was attended to by trainers and watched the rest of the game with ice on the left side of his midsection. "He had a little bit of a rib injury the other day and he just was running and he just felt a sharp pain in there so we're going to shut him down and shut him down immediately" said head coach Tim Walsh.
Graves completed all 5 of his passes for 54 yards and rushed for 7 yards before leaving. Fellow junior Chris Brown completed 8 of 13 passes for 52 yards while rushing for 61 yards on 4 carries. Walsh says Graves and Brown will continue to battle for the starting quarterback spot into fall camp leading to the teams first game on August 28 at New Mexico State.
Sophomore slotback Kori Garcia rushed for 66 yards on 11 carries as the offense gained 279 yards on the ground. Senior slotback Kenny Mitchell was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 45 yards while Garcia had 3 receptions for 11 yards and junior Jordan Hines caught a pair of passes for 29 yards.
The 30 points scored by the offense included 25 first downs (one point each), one play of 25 or more yards (two points) and a 24-yard field goal by James Foug (three points). The long play was a 30-yard run by Brown. "Offense has got to finish better, I thought the defense did a great job of keeping them out of the endzone on some critical third downs" said Walsh.
The Mustang defense forced two turnovers (six points each), held the offense to a trio of three-and-outs (three points each) and also earned five points for holding the offense scoreless on five drives.
The pair of turnovers were a fumble recovery and interception, both by senior defensive back Dylan Mohamed. The theft came on the final play of the scrimmage and was returned 15 yards. The fumble was forced by junior defensive back Frankie Griggs.
Redshirt freshman linebacker R.J. Mazolewski notched 11 tackles while junior defensive back Chris Fletcher recorded seven tackles to lead the Mustang defense. Junior linebacker Burton De Koning, a transfer from Nevada, and redshirt freshman linebacker Jack Ferguson of San Luis Obispo both earned five tackles.
Sophomore defensive lineman Marcus Paige-Allen and senior defensive lineman Omar Omilabu both recorded sacks. Other tackles for lost yardage were earned by Mohamed, Fletcher and junior defensive back Blake Vandenkolk, one of his five tackles for the game. "I'm pretty happy with the way we finished, the biggest thing now is definitely study film, study what we made mistakes on today. Perfect that and take it into the offseason" said senior middle linebacker Nick Dzubnar.
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