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FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF

FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Quarterback Garrett Safron and receiver DeAndre Carter each cemented their names into the Sacramento State record book on Saturday night, but it was Cal Poly who earned a 56-27 victory in front of a season-high home crowd of 10,934 at Hornet Stadium.

Sacramento State fell to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in Big Sky Conference play. The Mustangs improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in league games.

Safron became the school's all-time leading passer after completing 30-of-43 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns. The senior raised his career yardage total to 8,448 yards and passed Ryan Leadingham's previous record of 8,376. The Santa Monica, Calif., native also had an electrifying 21-yard touchdown rush midway through the second quarter which gave the team a 17-7 lead. The score moved him into a tie with Ricky Ray and John Scorza for eighth place in school history with 15 career rushing scores.

Both of Safron's touchdown passes went to Carter who broke his tie with Fred Amey and now owns the Hornet record with 29 career touchdown receptions. Carter's first touchdown came seven seconds into the second quarter on a 26-yard pass where he was just able to get a toe down in the corner of the end zone and give the team a 10-7 lead. His second touchdown was midway through the fourth quarter on a 5-yard catch and run.

Sacramento State scored the game's first points with a 32-yard field goal from Brad Cornish on the opening drive of the game. The Mustangs quickly answered with a 4-play, 77-yard drive which ended on a 3-yard run from Chris Nicholls to give the team its first lead of the day.

Carter's catch and Safron's rush provided the Hornets with their largest lead of the day. From that point, Cal Poly outscored Sacramento State, 49-10, including a 42-3 run which spanned from the 8:27 mark of the second quarter until 9:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Roland Jackson sparked the team with a 52-yard catch from Chris Brown. Following Cornish's second field goal (a 44-yarder) Kenny Mitchell caught a 3-yard pass from Brown with 47 seconds left in the half to give Cal Poly the lead for good.

In the second half, Sacramento State recovered a botched handoff at the Mustangs' 46 yard line but the offense went three-and-out on all four of its drives in the quarter. Cal Poly responded with a 62-yard rush from Joe Protheroe and a 2-yard score from Brandon Howe before Kori Garcia scored from 4-yards out with 44 seconds left in the quarter. During the period,  CP gained 230 yards while limiting the Hornets to 26 on only 15 offensive plays.

Sacramento State was able to find its offensive rhythm in the fourth quarter as it picked up 166 yards in the final 15 minutes, including 144 through the air.  Despite being outgained, Cal Poly received a 2-yard rush from Protheroe and a 4-yard TD from reserve QB Dano Graves.

The final statistics were fairly even for the game as Cal Poly totaled 504 yards of total offense compared to 449 from the Hornets. The biggest advantage came on yards per play where the Mustangs earned 7.4 yards on 68 snaps and the Hornets 5.5 yards on 81 plays.

Nnamdi Agude was the team's leading receiver with 10 catches for 152 yards. Agude has now surpassed 100 yards in five of the team's eight games this season and caught at least 10 passes for the second time. Jordan Robinson rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries to lead the team.

Defensively, safety Robbie Kendall was in double digits for the seventh time with a team-high 12 stops. Linebacker Darnell Sankey was credited with 10 tackles before leaving the game early in the third quarter with a leg injury which prevented his return.

Cal Poly's Nick Dzubnar, who entered the contest as the leading tackler in the FCS, finished with 19 to lead all players. Cameron Ontko (14) and Chris Fletcher (11) also had at least 10 tackles.

Brown threw for 109 yards and rushed for 27. The quarterback was an efficient 8-of-11 with two touchdowns. Garcia paced the team with 141 rushing yards.

After its lone bye week of the season, Sacramento State will play at Montana on Nov. 1. The team's next home game will come against Southern Utah on Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.

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