(Los Angeles) Led by a brace from center Sam Sirell, #11 UCLA swept aside #13 Cal Poly 39-13 on North Athletic Field, laying claim to the remaining playoff seed in the D1-A Pacific Conference.
Tight defense in the first half limited scoring to a penalty goal each from the opposing halfbacks. Seven minutes before the split, Bruins outside center Sam Sirell scored the first of his two tries, with a conversion from scrumhalf Grant Penney, to put UCLA up 10-3 at halftime.
The Bruins refocused in the second to run in four unanswered tries, with two scorers coming off the bench. The Mustangs managed to score twice in the final minutes, with a try each from flyhalf Matt Verga and flanker Matt Ryan, but the point differential was insurmountable and UCLA closed with a 39-13 win.
With Saturday's victory, UCLA (3-1 Pacific) advances to the first round of May's D1-A playoffs as the second seed from the conference, behind #3 St. Mary's. Both teams' playoff chances hinged on a win - Cal Poly needed to defeat UCLA, then #14 Central Washington in order to secure the remaining berth. The Mustangs play the Wildcats (both 1-2 Pacific) to conclude their D1-A season April 21st, in San Luis Opisbo, CA.
Tries: Sam Sirell (2), James Faccinto, Andrew Bailey, Tanner Heaphy, Stanton Sharpe
Conversions: Grant Penney (2), Tanner Heaphy
Penalty goal: Grant Penney
Ben Francis (Tanner Heaphy); Martial Chaput, Samuel Sirell (Stanton Sharpe), Race Noedlner, Edwin de Dios; James Faccinto (Tyler Pritchard), Grant Penney (Conrad Paxton); Andrew Bailey, Jackson Brown, William Murphy, Neboysa Omcikus (Jonathan Warren), Pierre Courpron, Aaron Elman, David Anders-Richards (Matthew Frederickson), Stephen Yoshida (Joshua Parr, Yoshida.)
Cal Poly SLO Mustangs
Tries: Matt Verga, Matt Ryan
Penalty goal: Matt Verga
Yellow cards: Philip Bezouska, Landis Nasser
Landis Nasser; Cody Perez, Jake Gersh, Michael Dumelle (Andy Early), Alex Frost; Matt Verga, Tommy Leecox; Aaron Bordenave, Pat McCreesh, Ben Crosby, Eric Parsons, Bobby McNeill (Philip Bezouska), Joe Saldana, Matt Ryan, Dave Schaefer.
Referee: Erasmus Kristoffersen Aruna Ranaweera (Southern California)