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Eastern Washington Holds On to Defeat Cal Poly, 42-41, in Home Finale

Eastern Washington Holds On to Defeat Cal Poly, 42-41, in Home Finale


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Senior running back Antoine Custer scored four touchdowns, ran for 107 yards and caught three passes to lead Eastern Washington to a 42-41 Big Sky Conference football win over Cal Poly on Saturday night inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Custer scored on runs of 40, 38, 2 and 13 yards for Eastern Washington (6-5, 5-2 Big Sky), which led by 14 points on four different occasions in the game but had to hold on in the final minutes.

Cal Poly, which produced advantages of 27 minutes in time of possession and 30-21 in first downs, pulled to within one point, 42-41, on a four-yard run by sophomore fullback Duy Tran-Sampson with 4:58 to play. The two-point conversion try, a run by Jalen Hamler, was stopped at the 5-yard line.

Eastern Washington fumbled the ball and junior defensive end Ryan Boehm recovered to give Cal Poly one more chance with 3:05 to play. The Mustangs drove 35 yards to set up a potential-game-winning field goal, but Colton Theaker's 35-yard attempt with 1:02 to go missed to the right by inches.

Cal Poly suffered its sixth straight loss and fell to 2-8 and 1-6.

Senior wide receiver J.J. Koski (pictured at right) caught a career-high three touchdown passes from Hamler spanning 22, 32 and 11 yards and junior slot back Drew Hernandez earned his third career 100-yard game with 115 yards on just nine carries, averaging 12.8 yards per trip.

Tran-Sampson finished with 89 yards on 26 carries, scoring twice on runs of two and four yards. Hamler rushed for 88 yards on 20 trips, scoring on a one-yard run midway through the second quarter, and completed six of 10 passes for 110 yards and the three scores to Koski.

For Eastern Washington, quarterback Eric Barriere rushed for 164 yards and one touchdown while completing 11 of 22 passes for 176 yards and another score, a 45-yarder to Talolo Limu-Jones.

Linebacker Matt Shotwell made five tackles, all solo, to lead the Mustangs defensively. Carter Nichols broke up three passes, Brando Phillips and Joey Ruiz combined on a sack and Mustang fumble recoveries were made by Sawyer Sobelman, Boehm and Nik Navarro.

Kendrick Johnson earned 14 tackles and Jack Sendelbach and Andrew Katzenberger 11 each for Eastern Washington.

Eastern Washington compiled a 496-477 edge in total offense, but Cal Poly had the advantage on the ground, 367-320. The Eagles entered the game No. 1 in the FCS in total offense, averaging 524 yards per game.

Cal Poly closes out the 2019 season next Saturday (Nov. 23) at Northern Colorado, with kickoff set for 11:05 a.m. PST. The Bears are 2-9 overall and 2-5 in Big Sky games after falling 45-38 at North Dakota on Saturday.

Mustang Notes

With four catches for 76 yards, Koski increased his career totals to 119 receptions for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns ... Koski is No. 6 in career receptions, tied for No. 5 in career receiving yards and tied for No. 5 in career receiving touchdowns ... Tran-Sampson now has 902 yards in 10 games and needs 98 more next week to become the 23rd Mustang to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a single season ... Cal Poly finishes 1-4 at home for the second time in the last three years ... among the nation's leaders in fourth-down conversions, Cal Poly was four of six Saturday and has converted 20 of 26 fourth-down plays this year (76.9 percent) ... Cal Poly, which recovered just one of the opponents' fumbles all year, pounced on three Eastern Washington fumbles Saturday ... the Mustangs' 43 minutes, seven seconds in time of possession is a season high  ... a total of 15 seniors and two redshirt juniors (Kevin Howell and Orlando Yepez) who will graduate were honored in a pregame ceremony ... in addition to Senior Night, Cal Poly also celebrated Homecoming and Hats Off to Heroes.

Photos courtesy of Nathan Nybakke |