Sheldon Canley scored a California Bowl-record five touchdowns, one on a 59-yard run, as San Jose State scored a 48-24 victory over Central Michigan Saturday.
The Big West-champion Spartans led, 26-10, in the third quarter when Canley broke through the line, cut to the left and back to the center of the field around several defenders for the touchdown that put the game out of reach.
Canley then broke the California Bowl record of three touchdowns on a five-yard run and caught a touchdown pass from Ralph Martini early in the fourth quarter.
San Jose Coach Terry Shea said opponents give Canley, a 5-foot-8 tailback chosen as a third-team All-American by the Associated Press, “tremendous respect . . . for his style and what he puts into the game. It’s unparalleled in college football today.
“Some backs may have more glamour and more stats, but not the heart,” Shea said.
The Chippewas (8-3-1), champions of the Mid-American Conference, got a bad break when Canley swept around the right side for a five-yard touchdown on the Spartans’ first possession. Replays showed Canley stepped out of bounds on the two, but the touchdown stood.
After a field goal early in the second quarter gave the Spartans (9-2-1) a 10-0 lead, Central Michigan’s Jeff Bender passed to Ken Ealy running down the left sideline for a 55-yard touchdown. Ealy had two more touchdown receptions in the second half after the game was out of reach.
Canley took the opening kickoff but fumbled when he was hit by Todd Reynolds, and the Chippewas recovered at the San Jose State 14. On fourth-and-one at the five, Central Michigan went for the first down--but Billy Smith was thrown for a one-yard loss, and the momentum shifted to the Spartans.
Canley slipped around several defenders on the right side for a 22-yard touchdown set up by a 40-yard pass from Martini to Gary Charlton later in the second quarter for a 17-10 lead.
Canley finished with 164 yards in 23 carries and added 44 yards on five receptions.
Martini finished with 27 completions in 36 attempts for 404 yards.
Bender passed for 220 yards on 14 completions in 25 attempts. Ealy caught seven passes for 161 yards.
Central Michigan Coach Herb Deromedi said the Spartans were simply too fast.
“They’re the fastest football team I’ve had the opportunity to coach against,” he said.
“We worked extremely hard to get to this level. But on this given day, we just played an outstanding team.”