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Cal Poly Football Falls To UC Davis 48-35

Senior running back Gabe Manzanares rushed for a career-high 230 yards and three touchdowns while sophomore quarterback Ben Scott passed for 298 yards and three more scores as UC Davis upset Cal Poly 48-35 in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on Saturday night before 10,121 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The loss was Cal Poly’s first in five home games this season and dropped the Mustangs to 6-5 for the year and 5-3 in Big Sky Conference games. In spoiling the Mustangs’ Senior Night, UC Davis improved to 2-8 and 1-6.

Manzanares, who carried the ball 37 times, scored on runs of 11, 2 and 12 yards while Scott completed 24 of 32 passes, including scoring strikes of 11 yards to Mark Martindale, five yards to Ramon Vargas and two yards to Zach Boman.

The Aggies amassed 564 yards in total offense, averaging 7.2 yards per play. Cal Poly managed 457 total yards, including 298 on the ground and 159 more through the air as junior quarterback Chris Brown completed 13 of 19 passes, one for a touchdown spanning 33 yards to Jordan Hines.

The game was tied at 7-7 and 14-14 before UC Davis assumed command with 17 unanswered points in the second quarter for a 31-14 lead at intermission. Cal Poly closed the gap to 10 points early in the third quarter on a one-yard run by Brown and twice to 13 points in the final period, but could get no closer.

Mustang sophomore slotback Kori Garcia earned his fifth 100-yard game of the season, gaining 151 yards on 20 carries and scoring once on a three-yard run in the first quarter.

Garcia now has 1,002 yards in 11 games, joining Brown as 1,000-yard rushers this season. Only once before in the 96-year history of Cal Poly football has a Mustang team had a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Craig Young (1,038) and Antonio Warren (1,151) accomplished the feat in 1997.

Senior fullback Brandon Howe added 89 yards on nine carries, 70 of the yards on a touchdown run in the first quarter. Howe has 804 yards on the year.

Leading receivers in the game were Vargas and Dalton Turay, each with five catches for UC Davis, and Kenny Mitchell with four receptions for Cal Poly.

Mustang senior linebacker Nick Dzubnar recorded 18 tackles, surpassing Kyle Shotwell and breaking the school record for tackles in a season. Dzubnar now has 160 tackles, eclipsing the mark of 158 Shotwell set in 2005.

Cameron Ontko, also a senior linebacker, added 12 tackles for Cal Poly. UC Davis strong safety Keleen Culberson notched 13 tackles and recovered a fumble.

With four touchdowns on the ground Saturday, Cal Poly raised its total for the season to 41, tying the school record set by the 2008 Mustang team and breaking the Big Sky mark of 39 set by Montana State in 1966.

Cal Poly is 10 yards shy of the school and conference mark for rushing yards in a season. The 2012 Mustangs rushed for 3,890 yards.

Cal Poly wraps up its 2014 season next Saturday at the University of San Diego. The Toreros are 9-1 with an eight-game winning streak following their 32-27 win over Valparaiso, clinching a share of the Pioneer League title.

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