Poly's standard I-formation offense might not be that exciting to watch, but the No. 3 Engineers proved again yesterday that it can be productive as they grinded their way to a 33-6 win over unranked Mervo in a season-opener for both teams.
"We just ran out of gas and Poly just started pushing us down the field," said Mustangs coach John Blake, a 1969 graduate of Poly. "We have 20 starters out of the front 22 and for some reason we just ran out of gas. Maybe we're not in the kind of shape we ought to be."
Poly's senior tailback Randall Beamon showed some endurance as he ran all over the field at Lumsden Stadium, picking up 133 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Beamon's understudy, junior John Pierre, replaced him in the fourth quarter and rushed 43 yards on seven attempts.
The Engineers took control of the game on their second possession, driving 69 yards in 10 plays. Beamon, who gave Poly excellent field possession when he broke loose for 27 yards on third-and-short, scored from 2 yards out as time expired in the first quarter.
Things only got worse for Mervo in the second quarter. A clipping penalty on the ensuing kickoff spoiled a fine return by Clarence Johnson and put the Mustangs at their own 5-yard-line instead of near midfield. Two plays later Mervo trailed, 12-0, after Poly defensive tackle Darnell Dezurn picked off a desperation pass by quarterback Antoine Johnson and took two steps into the end zone.
Mervo (0-1) managed to move the ball into Poly territory on its next possession, but found trouble once inside the 10. Johnson limped off the field with an ankle injury after a quarterback option. The Mustangs' 11-play drive stalled two plays later when Poly's Donte Dorsey recovered a fumble at the 6.
Poly's offense went back to work on the Mustangs' tiring defense and drove to their 17-yard line before William Johns scooped up a loose ball and scampered 81 yards for Mervo's first touchdown.
Mervo's two-point conversion run failed and the visitors trailed at the half, 12-6.
Some stingy defense by the Engineers and a short punt by
Mervo gave Poly good field position early in the second half. Poly took over at the Mustangs' 25 and got to the 1-yard line in two plays, runs of 14 and 10 yards, respectively, by Beamon and fullback Willie Hudson. Beamon then took it in to make it 18-6 with 8:33 left in the third.
A face-mask penalty and an offside call against Mervo helped set up Poly's fourth touchdown -- a 6-yard run by Hudson.
With several starters resting on the sidelines, the Engineers added one more touchdown in the waning seconds. Junior Karlton Dunn ran 10 yards and then recovered his own fumble in the end zone.
Backup quarterback Dustin Jones showed the rest of his teammates how to make a two-point conversion as he scrambled in on a keeper.
"We were very sloppy today. We're a very inexperienced group but we'll be OK," said Poly coach Augie Waibel. "If we get another one or two games under our belts, we'll be fine."