Triple-option too much in Hornets 41-27 loss to Cal Poly

Sac State football lost early lead and never came back


Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Cal Poly junior J.J. Koski returned a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Mustangs a 21-14 lead on Saturday at Hornet Stadium. The Mustangs defeated Sac State 41-27.

Sacramento State had trouble stopping Cal Poly’s triple-option offense, losing 41-27 to the Mustang’s on Saturday at Hornet Stadium.

While the Hornets (2-3, 0-2 Big Sky Conference) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, they were only able to muster 13 points the rest of the game.

The Mustangs (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky Conference) rushed for 462 yards on 70 carries while only completing one pass the entire game.

Sac State head coach Jody Sears said the team had been working all week to adjust to the physically pounding offense the Mustangs employ.

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The Mustangs scored touchdowns on their first two drives, all without throwing a pass.

As the game wore on, Cal Poly’s rushing attack got stronger. Two players rushed for over 100 yards while five different players rushed for at least 60 yards and the Mustangs built up a three-possession lead in the fourth quarter.

“Everybody is at fault and coaches are at the top of the list, and you’re looking at him,” Sears said, referring to himself. “Our kids did not execute what they needed to execute. That is my fault.”

The game took a turn with both teams tied up 14-14 in the second quarter. The Mustangs forced a punt and on the punt return, Mustang junior J.J. Koski fielded the ball at his own 30-yard line and weaved his way through the open field, eventually cruising into the end zone with 9:31 left in the second quarter.

The Hornets trailed 21-14 at the half. The Hornets opened the game with sophomore running back Elijah Dotson scoring to cap a 6-play drive.

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The Mustangs got on the board on their first drive after converting a fourth down and then pounded the ball in from the 1-yard line with 5:47 to play in the first.

On the next drive, senior quarterback Kevin Thomson hit freshman wide receiver Pierre Williams for a 54-yard score to give the Hornets a 14-7 lead. Again, the Mustangs capitalized and tied the game up before the second quarter began.

Emily Rabasto – The State Hornet
Senior quarterback Kevin Thomson throws a pass during the second quarter in Sac State’s 41-27 loss to Cal Poly on Saturday at Hornet Stadium. Thomson finished the game with a career high 322 passing yards.

Twice in the second quarter, senior kicker Devon Medeiros went out to attempt to a field goal. The first, a 50-yard attempt, just missed, and the second, a 47-yarder, wasn’t even attempted because the snap was mishandled.

Although the Hornets trailed by just seven at halftime, Cal Poly was able to extend the lead to 10 by the end of the third quarter and by as many as 21 before winning 41-27.

“We give up to many big plays,” Sears said. “We gave up 2-3 big runs against Montana and 3-4 tonight. We’ve got to put our kids in better position to make plays. Pure and simple.

“I’m glad we don’t have to play the triple-option next week.”