C.J. Cole did not touch the ball much during the Cal Poly spring football game Saturday, but when Cole did, he did a lot with it.
The St. Joseph High graduate made the play of the game when he ran through a hole off left tackle and sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown during the Green (defense) vs. White (offense) game at Doerr Field on the Cal Poly campus.
"That was sweet," said the slot back, who is a sophomore eligibility-wise. Cole red-shirted his freshman year at Cal Poly.
The Cole touchdown run was easily the longest play from scrimmage during the approximately 70-play game which the White squad, under a scoring system that gave the offense or defense points for first downs and stops made as well as touchdowns, extra points and made field goals (there were no made field goals Saturday), won 44-42.
St. Joseph High graduate CJ Cole gets congratulated by a coach after scoring on a 70-yard touchdown run during the Cal Poly Spring Game Satur…
Unofficially, that long scoring run was the only time Cole carried the ball. Despite tight coverage, Cole also caught a 43-yard pass from red-shirt freshman quarterback Jalen Hamler, the longest pass play of the game.
Actually, the Cole touchdown run went for the biggest yardage, period. Red-shirt freshman Xavier Moore ran a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, but a penalty canceled the score.
Fenton Will, a Cal Poly sophomore, was a football teammate of Cole's at St. Joseph. They also ran for the St. Joseph 4x100 relay team that qualified for the prestigious Arcadia Invitational.
Cole was able to work into the Cal Poly rotation at slot back last year. Will made most of his impact on special teams. Saturday, Will had a solid outing at linebacker.
Hamler got a lot of reps Saturday. Other red-shirt freshmen also had a big impact. Red-shirt freshman fullback Ryan Rivera scored from three yards out for the first of the three touchdowns Saturday.
He was injured later and wound up on crutches with an ice pack on his right knee.
Speaking of fullbacks, the Cal Poly offense will have a lot of work to do to fill the void left by graduated record-breaking fullback Joe Protheroe, who is bidding for a spot on a pro roster.
St. Joseph High graduate Fenton Will fights off a block attempt during the Cal Poly Spring Game Saturday at Doerr Field on the Cal Poly campus.
Cole sounded optimistic after the Green-White game.
"We have a lot of depth up and down the lineup," he said.
"I thought it was a good game, especially for the offense but also for the defense."
Several Cal Poly backs saw action Saturday. There were some solid runs, though none of the backs demonstrated Protheroe's proclivity for tackle-busting. Freshman slot back Dusty Frampton had a particularly solid outing.
Though the White team won the game, the defense, led by another red-shirt freshman, lineman James Williams, and senior linebacker Nick Navarro had the better of things much of the way.
Cal Poly quarterback Jalen Hamler (4) drops back to pass during the Cal Poly Spring Game Saturday at Doerr Field on the Cal Poly campus.
The offense had just two sustained scoring drives. Rivera finished the first with his 3-yard scoring run. The second ended with an 11-yard pass from Hamler to junior wide receiver Quentin Hamlin.
Hamlin did most of the work on that one, catching the ball at the 7, juking a defender and running in for the score.
It is only April but if Saturday was any indication, Cal Poly fans who have liked the Mustangs' triple option offense will be happy this fall and those who were hoping for a substantial change will be disappointed.
Unofficially, Cal Poly quarterbacks combined for eight passes Saturday.
Mustangs win their first Big West championship
MALIBU — The Cal Poly beach volleyball program made history Saturday by beating the University of Hawai’i twice to win its first-ever Big West Tournament Championship at Zuma Beach in Malibu.
The No. 8 Mustangs (25-10) beat the No. 5 Rainbow Wahine (26-9) in the semifinals 4-1. Later in the day, after Hawai’i beat Long Beach State to get to championship match, Cal Poly won in epic fashion, 3-2, to clinch the title.
The Cal Poly women went 4-0 in the tournament on their road to the championship.
In addition to the two wins over Hawaii, Poly also defeated Sacramento State and No. 12 Long Beach State.
The Mustangs now have to wait to see if they’re one of the eight teams selected for the NCAA Tournament that will be held May 3-5 in Gulf Shores, Ala. The selection show will be at 4 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com.
If chosen, it would be the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.