A former Central Coast high school star helped spoil Cal Poly’s home opener Saturday night.
Jake Constantine hit Rashid Shaheed with a go ahead touchdown pass and Weber State beat Cal Poly 24-17 at Alex Spanos Stadium.
Constantine starred at quarterback for a Camarillo High team that made it to the 2016 state playoffs.
Weber State, ranked No. 10 in the FCS, is 1-1. Cal Poly is 0-2.
“Some things didn’t go our way at the end,” said Matt Shotwell, who had a big game at linebacker for Cal Poly. “But we can definitely gained some confidence from this.”
Josh Davis ran for 177 yards and two scores for Weber State. He scored the winning touchdown on a five-yard run with 8:12 left.
His 60-yard run set that up.
“We (make a mistake on an assignment) and the guy goes 60 yards,” said Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh.
“We’ve got to clean that up.”
The Jake Jeffrey to J.J. Koski connection was almost enough for the Mustangs.
Jeffrey connected with Koski seven times for 127 yards, and Koski’s 26-yard reception set up Joe Protheroe’s one-yard run that brought Cal Poly to within 24-17.
“We saw something in their secondary we could exploit,” said Koski. “Our coaches put together a great game plan for us.”
Jeffrey gave Cal Poly a 10-10 tie when he bounced off two would-be tacklers for a 7-yard scoring run at the 6:28 mark of the third quarter.
Jeffrey was playing in place of injured starter Khaleel Jenkins.
After mustering 59 yards of total offense in a 41-10 loss to Utah last week, Weber State marched 73 yards on its first possession of the game for the first score.
Actually, the Wildcats went farther than that, because a penalty took them back to their own 14. Josh Davis capped off the nifty 11-play drive with a three-yard scoring run.
Shotwell led a Cal Poly defensive surge that didn’t let the Wildcats sustain much the rest of the half. However, the Mustangs had just 92 yards of total offense themselves in the first half.
They thought they had a touchdown early in the second quarter, but Broc Mortensen was ruled out of bounds when he caught Jake Jeffrey’s would-be five yard touchdown pass.
The Mustangs settled for an Alex Vega field goal.
Constantine was bailed out late in the second quarter when Jayson Lee dropped an interception at the Cal Poly 7. Trey Tuttle kicked a 21-yard field goal.
The Mustangs fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, but Tuttle missed a 51-yard field goal try as time ran out in the half.
Cal Poly hosts Brown University, coming all the way across the country from Providence, R.I., in a rare Friday night game. The Brown Bears will be playing their season opener. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Alex Spanos Stadium.
A dozen Bears starters return — six on each side of the ball — led by junior wide receiver Jakob Prall, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection last fall after catching 51 balls for 587 yards, and sophomore defensive lineman Michael Hoecht, who notched 45 tackles (24 solo), including 10 tackles for loss (five sacks), and also recovered three fumbles in 2017.
Brown has captured four Ivy League championships in football, three under current head coach Phil Estes. The Bears are opening their 141st season of intercollegiate football this weekend and Estes, in his 21st season at Brown, will be coaching his 200th career game Friday night.
Expect the Bears to display new offensive and defensive schemes this fall with 38 returning lettermen on hand. The Bears will use a Pro Set offense and a 3-4-4 defensive set (4-4-3 a year ago) against the Mustangs.
Protheroe headlines another strong group of Mustang ball carriers in Cal Poly’s Spread Triple Option. Granted a medical redshirt after playing less than six quarters a year ago, Protheroe entered his final collegiate campaign No. 5 on the Mustangs’ career rushing chart with 2,164 yards. In becoming Cal Poly’s 20th 1,000-yard rusher in 2016, Protheroe amassed 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. He rushed for 779 yards as a sophomore in 2015 and, with 139 yards on a career-high 39 carries against Colgate in the 2017 opener, entered the 2018 season with 14 career 100-yard games.