SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly overcame a 21-point deficit to force overtime, but Nos. 6/7 Montana State held the Mustangs in the first extra session and Travis Jonsen sprinted nine yards for the winner in a 34-28 Big Sky Conference football game Saturday inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Trailing 28-7 late in the third quarter, Cal Poly bounced back with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hamler to Quentin Harrison and scoring runs of one yard by Hamler and three yards by Drew Hernandez (pictured above), his first touchdown as a Mustang, to knot the score at 28-28.
Each team had two possessions in the final seven minutes of regulation but could not score.
Cal Poly got the ball first in the overtime period and lost six yards on three plays and a false start penalty. Colton Theaker's 48-yard field goal attempt was long enough but wide right.
Montana State needed just three plays to win the game, all runs by Jonsen spanning seven, nine and nine yards.
Cal Poly falls to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Big Sky play. Montana State improved to 5-1 and 2-0.
Jonsen scored twice for Montana State on runs of 13 and nine yards, finishing with 85 yards on 11 carries. Isaiah Infanse added 69 yards on 10 trips while Logan Jones and Tucker Rovig added scoring runs of four and one yards, respectively.
Rovig completed 12 of 24 passes for 163 yards and one score, a 10-yarder to Kevin Kassis in the second quarter. Kassis finished with five catches for 54 yards while Lance McCutcheon had four for 39 yards and Jonsen three for 70 yards.
Hamler threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score for the Mustangs, who were playing at home for the first time since August 31 and playing their first home overtime game since a 53-51 triple-overtime loss to Eastern Washington in 2011.
Hamler (pictured at left) completed four of 10 passes for 89 yards, including touchdown strikes of 26 yards to J.J. Koski in the first quarter and the 31-yarder to Harrison six second into the final period.
Sophomore fullback Duy Tran-Sampson rushed for 97 yards on 28 carries to lead Cal Poly's triple option offense. Hamler added 75 yards on 33 trips and Hernandez contributed 70 yards on nine carries.
Harrison made three receptions for 63 yards, one catch shy of his career high.
Senior boundary safety Kitu Humphrey's career-high 15 tackles led Cal Poly defensively. Senior field safety Carter Nichols earned his first interception of the year and third of his Mustang career midway through the fourth quarter to fuel Cal Poly's comeback.
Callahan O'Reilly notched 16 tackles for Montana State.
Cal Poly continues Big Sky p[lay next Saturday with the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe contest at UC Davis. Kickoff in UC Davis Health Stadium is set for 4:05 p.m.
Cal Poly's first possession resulted in a 94-yard, 20-play march culminated by Hamler's 26-yard touchdown toss to Koski; the drive consumed 11 minutes, 40 seconds ... the Mustangs are now 1-10 in overtime games, including an 0-3 mark at home, since the rule was adopted in 1994 .. Cal Poly had possession of the ball for 38 minutes, 42 seconds, compared to just 21:18 for the Bobcats ... first downs were even at 20 apiece ... Montana State was ranked No. 8 in its last visit to San Luis Obispo in 2014 and Cal Poly upset the Bobcats in that one, 35-27 ... the seven newest members of the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame, inducted Friday night at Hotel SLO, were introduced at halftime -- wrestler Mark DiGirolamo, track and field standout Maggie Vessey, baseball pitcher Garrett Olson, football wide receiver Ramses Barden, women's tennis star Brittany Blalock Huang, women's basketball player Sherrie Atteberry and men's track and field record-breaker Mathyas Michael.
Photos courtesy of Owen Main | www.fansmanship.com