H-SPORTS

Nov 17, 2012 9:34 PM by Andrew Masuda

Cal Poly football earns share of Big Sky title after 42-34 win at NAU

The Cal Poly football team built a 35-13 lead in the third quarter and held on to beat Northern Arizona 42-34 to earn a share of the Big Sky Conference title with Eastern Washington and Montana State in its first year as a member of the conference. Quarterback Andre Broadous threw 2 touchdown passes and Kristaan Ivory ran in two touchdowns as part of his first career game of 100 yards rushing.

The 17th ranked Mustangs improved to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in conference action after picking up their first win in nine tries against the Lumberjacks. 15th ranked NAU dropped to 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference and missed out on a shot of sharing the title.

The win also all but assured the Mustangs a spot in the 20 team FCS playoffs. The brackets will be released at 10:30 am California time on ESPNU on Sunday. Eastern Washington earned the league's one automatic bid to the playoffs by virtue of its win over Sacramento State.

Northern Arizona scored first when Blair Wishom sacked Broadous and knocked the ball loose. Brandon Phillips picked it up and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown to give the Lumberjacks a 7-0 lead with 7:40 to play in the opening quarter.

The Mustangs responded with a 13 yard rushing touchdown from Ivory to even the score 7-7 with 3:19 left in the quarter. On NAU's next possession, quarterback Cary Grossart's pass was deflected by linebacker Kennith Jackson. The ball was tipped right to Nick Dzubnar, who returned it 40 yards for a pick-six and a touchdown to give Cal Poly a 14-7 lead with 2:08 to play in the first quarter.

The Lumberjacks were driving and had it inside the 5 yard line when Dzubnar forced Zach Bauman to fumble it and Nick Enriquez recovered it for the Mustangs. However, the Mustangs gave it right back when Deonte Williams was drilled as Broadous flipped him the ball. NAU recovered it and eventually turned it into 6 points on a 7 yard TD strike from Grossart to Ify Umodo. However, Jake Irwin blocked the PAT to preserve Cal Poly's 14-13 lead.

The Mustangs carried a 21-13 lead into halftime thanks to a one yard touchdown run from Ivory. The score was set up by a 51 yard catch and run from Broadous to Cole Stanford. The two connected for a 51 yard touchdown on Cal Poly's first possession of the second half that gave Cal Poly a 28-13 lead less than two minutes into the third period.

The Mustangs made it a 35-13 game when Broadous hit Willie Tucker for a 5 yard touchdown with 2:47 left in the third quarter. The score was set up by an interception from Jordan Williams.

That's when NAU got things going offensively. Casey Jahn scored on a 1 yard run with 1:19 to play in the third quarter to pull the Lumberjacks to within 35-20. NAU closed the gap to 35-27 when Grossart connected with Austin Shanks for a 27 yard touchdown pass. The Mustangs regained a 42-27 lead when Broadous ran it in for a touchdown from 3 yards out with 3:14 to play. The Lumberjacks quickly moved down field and scored again on a 35 yard touchdown pass from Grossart to Jesse Brantley to pull to within 42-34 with 1:33 left in the game. NAU went for an onside kick, but recovered it before the ball went the required 10 yards so Cal Poly retained possession of the ball. The Mustangs earned a first down and ran out the clock to seal the victory.

The Mustangs finished with 503 total yards of offense thanks to 323 rushing yards. Broadous finished 6 for 9 passing with 180 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes. Williams finished with 139 yards on 25 carries to extend his single season record of 10 games with 100 or more yards rushing. Ivory added 100 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns in the first 100 yard game of his career.

Stanford caught three passes for 127 yards and one touchdown.

Dzubnar led the Mustangs with 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and the 40 yard pick-six. Sullivan Grosz finished with 1.5 sacks and 6 tackles.

Cal Poly broke two records in the game -rushing yards for a season at Cal Poly and for the Big Sky Conference.

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