Football drops road game at No. 15 Cal Poly
By HEATHER KENNEDY
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Northern Colorado football team answered the punches that 15th-ranked Cal Poly threw at it in the first and fourth quarters, but the Mustangs scored 14 each in the second and third for the 56-28 victory.
Junior quarterback Seth Lobato completed 27-of-37 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for another 24 yards and a score for 302 yards of total offense. Lobato hit nine different receivers in the game, connecting with junior Jace Davis six times for 91 yards and a touchdown and senior Dominic Gunn six times for 63 yards. Senior tight end Darin McDonald also had three catches for 55 yards and his first touchdown.
Junior running back Tromaine Dennis, getting his first start of the year, rushed 20 times for 52 yards and one touchdown. The two rushing touchdowns by the Bears give the team six for the season, surpassing last year's total of five.
Gunn continued to play well on special teams as well, totaling 179 all-purpose yards with 104 on kickoff returns and 12 on punt returns.
Senior Marcel Gibbons paced the defense with 12 tackles, while fellow senior Jordan Bible had nine stops, one fumble recovery and a pass break-up. Junior Timi Niweigha recorded two tackles for loss, while Herve Tonye-Tonye had one tackle behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble.
Cal Poly got on the scoreboard first with a 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a Kristaan Ivory eight-yard run.
Senior Jordan Bible recovered a Mustang fumble on the 24-yard line and four plays later, Dennis ran it in from one-yard out to even the score at 7-7 with 7:42 to play. The touchdown was Dennis' fifth of the season.
The Mustangs regained the lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Andre Broadous to Willie Tucker with 5:38 on the clock.
McDonald caught a 22-yard pass from Lobato to even the score again at 14-14 with 1:34 to play in the first. It was the first touchdown of McDonald's career.
Cal Poly scored on a 37-yard rush by Ivory with 14:02 to play in the second quarter to once again take a seven-point lead. A five-yard rush by Deonte Williams stretched the Mustangs lead to 14 with 8:09 on the clock.
Northern Colorado recovered its second fumble of the game, when Mykel Morse picked up a muffed punt on a fair-catch attempt. The Bears took over possession on the 37-yard line but were unable to score before halftime.
After a Bears' fumble, Cal Poly scored on an 11-yard rush by Williams to take a 35-14 lead with 12:36 to play in the third quarter. Williams scores for the third time in the game, rushing 15 yards to cap an 86-yard drive at the 8:34 mark for the 42-14 score.
With 12 minutes left, Brandon Michalkiewicz caught a 30-yard pass from Broadous to make the score 49-14.
Lobato hit Jace Davis in the front left corner of the end zone, where Davis and a Mustang defender wrestled for the ball. Davis came up with it and Eden's PAT closed the score to 49-21 with 9:06 to play. The Bears drove 70 yards and Davis caught the 11-yard pass for his first score of the year.
With less than a minute to play, Lobato called his own number and scored the final touchdown of the game for the 56-28 tally.
The Bears host Idaho State next Saturday at Nottingham Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:35 pm.