SAN JOSE — Dwight Lowery, the local guy from Soquel High School, tied a San Jose State Spartan football school record with three interceptions to assist a stingy SJSU defense to a 17-7 victory over the high powered 1-AA Cal Poly Mustangs on an 83 degree day in the South Bay.
"I'm not sure I've ever been around a player that has his instincts," coach Dick Tomey said. "It's incredible. Words are insufficient to describe the kinds of things he's done. Three interceptions is like a running back rushing for 400 yards."
The weather was perfect, the tailgating was in full swing, and the San Jose State Spartans are off to one of their best starts in the last sixteen years!
"It feels great," wide receiver John Broussard said after the win. "This is the way it's supposed to have been."
The Stangs (3-1) came into the game with the top-ranked defense among 235 Division I football teams, and this had many Spartan fans concerned the week prior to the game.
SJSU was pitching a perfect shut out while heading into the early fourth quarter, and SLO didn't score until there were 38 seconds left in the game. Many fans in section 110, 111, and 112 were heard cheering and urging the team to shut out the Stangs with cheers of "Blank the Ponies!".
The Cal Poly football team avoided its first shutout since 1998 thanks a 20-yard touchdown reception by Ramses Barden with 38 seconds remaining late in the fourth quarter.
Cal Poly (3-1) hasn't been shut out since a 63-0 loss to another Division I-A team, Nevada, in 1998 — scoring in 84 consecutive games.
"We all felt we played that we were a lot better defense than we had showed," Spartans defensive end Justin Cole said. "We knew we had the talent to defensively shut down anyone down we go against. It wasn't a surprise to us. We just had to go out and prove it."
After a dead locked tie (0-0) after the conclusion of the first quarter, Jared Strubeck kicked a long, yet flat, 46-yard field goal that gave the Spartans a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter.
SLO appeared ready to respond to the Spartan scoring drive with some mojo of their own, but that was circumvented by the "beginning" of the Dwight Lowery show!
Lowery picked off SLO's QB, Barden, and returned the ball 33 yards to the Cal Poly 12-yard line. Yonus Davis (Pictured above) scored one play later to give SJSU the 10-0 lead.
The Stangs were driving yet again just before the end of the half, when Lowery intercepted Brennan yet again at the SJSU 21 with 20 seconds left.
Late in the game, Poly's Brennan threw a hopeful bomb in hopes that a miracle comeback could somehow be mustered, but Lowery was there again to reel in his record tying third pick of the day.
"It was almost like he was one of our wide receivers out there," Cal Poly coach Rich Ellerson said.
San Jose's QB, Adam Tafralis, was not having a great day, and as predicted by the SpartanThunder.com staff, back up QB, Sean Flynn entered the game late in the third quarter. However, Flynn went three and out in his first attempt to play and never came back into the game.
"The end result is a win, but I don't think any offensive player is really excited about the way we played," said quarterback Adam Tafralis, who completed 20 of 31 attempts for 152 yards and threw one interception. "We know we can play better than that.
"I though we showed moments, little glimpses of what we really are. The dominating team that I know we can be didn't show at all times."
Cal Poly's coach, Rich Ellerson, tried multiple moves on his old mentor, Dick Tomey. But, those moves simply were not enough to put the kibosh on his old mentor.
"I'd definitely like to do it again," the sixth-year coach said on his way out of a post game news conference.
Coach Dick Tomey stated during the post game wrap "They pressured us more and better than anybody we've played," Tomey said. "That was clearly the best defense we've played."
Up next for San Jose State is the continuance of a stretch of four straight home games, next Saturday, September 30th, as SJSU host's intra-state rival, the winless (0-3) San Diego State University Aztecs.
Game time at Spartan Stadium is set for a 3:00 p.m. kick-off.
See you all there as SJSU tries to take their 2006 season record to 3-1!
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