Sept. 26, 2010

Courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana -
No. 20 Cal Poly put together a 310-yard rushing attack and junior slotback Mark Rodgers scored twice as the Mustangs snapped an eight-game road losing streak Saturday night with a 40-14 victory over No. 19 McNeese State in Cowboy Stadium.

Rodgers scored on runs of four and 22 yards while sophomore quarterback Andre Broadous and senior fullback Jordan Yocum also scored on runs as Cal Poly improved to 3-1 on the season. McNeese State fell to 1-2.

The first meeting ever between the two schools - the Mustangs and Cowboys were to play in 2008 in Lake Charles but Hurricane Ike forced cancellation of the mid-September contest - was halted early in the third quarter by a 43-minute delay for lightning in the area.

Just before the delay, Cal Poly broke the game open with two quick scores.

The Mustangs, who led 24-7 at halftime, scored on a 24-yard interception return by redshirt freshman linebacker Johnny Millard and, two plays after sophomore linebacker Kenny Jackson recovered a McNeese State fumble, Rodgers ran 22 yards for a touchdown and a 38-7 Cal Poly advantage.

The Mustangs also scored a safety late in the third period as McNeese State punter Ben Bourgeois mishandled a punt snap and the ball rolled through the end zone.

The Cowboys, who scored a touchdown in the opening minute of the second quarter on a one-yard run by Marcus Wiltz, completed the scoring with 9:25 to play on backup quarterback Cody Stroud's six-yard run.

Cal Poly last won a road game Oct. 18, 2008, a 42-28 decision at South Dakota State. The school record for a losing streak on the road is 11 set in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. The victory Saturday was the first on the road for second-year Mustang head coach Tim Walsh.

Broadous, earning his first collegiate start, rushed for 89 yards on 14 carries and one score, a 39-yard run in the second quarter which gave the Mustangs the lead for good at 10-7.

Rodgers added 72 yards on 12 carries while Yocum finished with 67 yards on 15 trips, scoring on a four-yard run 18 seconds before halftime. Junior fullback Jake Romanelli contributed 59 yards on 12 carries.

Broadous completed seven of 10 passes for 77 yards, including a 44-yard strike to senior wide receiver Dominique Johnson which set up Yocum's touchdown run in the second quarter.

Johnson was Cal Poly's top receiver with four catches for 62 yards.

On defense, the Mustangs were led by cornerback Bijon Samoodi with six tackles. Tackle Erich Klemme added four tackles, two for lost yardage and one sack. Greg Francis earned his sixth career interception while Marty Mohamed nabbed his third career theft, all in the first four games this season.

Cal Poly had the advantage in first downs, 20-13, in total offense, 387-293, ran 20 more plays than the Cowboys and compiled a 15-minute advantage in time of possession.

The Mustangs, who held McNeese State to just 52 yards rushing in the game, scored 37 straight points after falling behind 7-3 and took advantage of five Cowboy turnovers.

Cal Poly's first points came on a 39-yard field goal by Jake West with one second left in the first quarter. West also made all five PAT kicks.

The Cowboys, 83-38 since 2000, have won three of the last four Southland Conference titles, six in the current decade and 13 since joining the conference in 1972. They have competed in the FCS playoffs 14 times in the last 20 years and have had 11 winning seasons in the last 12 years.

Cal Poly continues its five-game road trip with a visit to Fresno State on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. PDT. The Mustangs, who started the road trip Sept. 18 at Texas State, also visit Old Dominion and Southern Utah before returning to Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Oct. 23 against North Dakota.