UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier threw five touchdown passes for the second straight week, leading the 10th-ranked Aggies to a 52-10 victory over Cal Poly in the Battle for the Golden Horseshow on Saturday night inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Maier threw touchdown passes of 9, 19, 14, 12 and 17 yards and completed 17 of 33 attempts for 200 yards for UC Davis, which remains alone atop the Big Sky Conference standings at 4-0. The Aggies are 6-1 for their best Division I start.
Cal Poly, which fell to 2-5 and 1-3, jumped to a 10-0 lead in the opening 11 minutes of the game, but was held out of the end zone the rest of the way as UC Davis tallied 52 unanswered points to win going away.
Mustang senior fullback Joe Protheroe garnered his fifth consecutive 100-yard game on the ground and 19th of his Cal Poly career, moving into fourth place on the Mustangs’ career rushing charts.
With 147 yards on 33 carries, Protheroe has 935 yards on the season as he bids for his second 1,000-yard season as a Mustang. Protheroe also has 3,396 yards for his career, moving past Louis Jackson into the No. 4 spot. He needs 226 yards to catch No. 3 James Noble.
Protheroe scored the first touchdown of the game on a 35-yard run just five minutes into the game, capping a 64-yard, nine-play drive.
Alex Vega added a 41-yard field goal less than seven minutes later for a 10-0 Mustang lead.
Then Maier went to work.
The 6-0, 200-pound signal caller from Long Beach City College connected with Wesley Preece on a nine-yard touchdown pass and with Jared Harrell on a 19-yarder in the first five minutes of the second period for a 14-10 lead.
Later in the quarter, Ulonzo Gilliam ran seven yards for a score, Maier connected with Keela Doss on a 14-yard touchdown pass and Max O’Rourke kicked a 43-yard field goal as UC Davis tallied 31 points in the second period for a 31-10 halftime lead.
UC Davis scored three more touchdowns in the second half. Maier threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Justin Kraft and a 17-yarder to Preece while Roland Ocansey scooped up a Mustang fumble and ran 34 yards for the final score of the game.
Doss was Maier’s favorite target with five catches for 53 yards. Tehran Thomas gained 101 yards on nine carries and Gilliam added 95 yards on 10 trips as UC Davis averaged 8.9 yards per rush.
For Cal Poly, senior quarterback Khaleel Jenkins rushed for 63 yards on 25 carries and completed six of 10 passes for 48 yards. J.J. Koski caught four passes for 48 yards.
Defensive back Carter Nichols led the Mustangs defensively with eight tackles. He also had one quarterback hurry. Nik Navarro recovered a UC Davis fumble and Matt Shotwell forced a fumble.
Cam Trimble made eight tackles for UC Davis, which totaled 11 tackles for lost yardage, including a sack by Mason Moe. Moe and Ocansey recovered Mustang fumbles for the Aggies.
Cal Poly plays its next two games on the road, visiting Northern Arizona next Saturday and Montana State in two weeks.
–Provided Cal Poly