SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Freshman Carson Conklin passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start to help FCS No. 11 Sacramento State beat Cal Poly 41-30 Saturday night.
Sacramento State (7-3, 4-3 Big Sky) bounced back from a 34-7 loss at No. 3 Montana last week — its third loss to a top-5 team this season — to keep its hope alive for an at-large berth to the playoffs. The Hornets wrap up their regular season next week at UC Davis (6-4, 4-3).
Marcus Fulcher had 121 yards rushing and Elijah Tau-Tolliver ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries for Sacramento State. Jared Gipson caught five balls for 154 yards.
Cal Poly (3-7, 1-6) took the opening kickoff and marched to the Hornets 9 before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Noah Serna, but Tau-Tolliver scored on a 34-yard run a little more than 2 minutes later. The Mustangs went three-and-out, Fulcher ripped off a 50-yard run and a personal foul gave Sacramento State first-and-goal from the 8 to set up a 7-yard TD pass from Conklin to Devin Gandy that made it 14-3 with 5:41 left in the first quarter.
Sam Huard hit Michael Briscoe for a 27-yard touchdown about 3 minutes later. Serna kicked a 44-yard field goal midway through the second quarter to pull Cal Poly within a point before Conklin threw TD passes of 39 yards to tight end Marshel Martin and 15 yards to Carlos Hill with 2:27 left in the half.
Briscoe scored on 52-yard reception and Serna kicked a 23-yarder with 18 seconds to go. Tau-Tolliver returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards, Conklin connected with Gipson on a 47-yard gain and Zach Schreiner kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to make it 31-23 at halftime.
Huard was 37-of-58 passing for 483 yards — the second-highest single-game total in program history — with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Cal Poly. Briscoe finished with 124 yards receiving and Bryson Allen added 116. Giancarlo Woods had 10 receptions for 107 yards, and Dominique Thompson had seven receptions for 94 yards.
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