Hindered by first-half holding penalties and trailing, 8-6, Poly rallied in the final four minutes to defeat visiting Forest Park, 14-8, yesterday.
"If we had Odoms and Wilson [starting linebackers Derrick Odoms and Rahula Wilson], it wouldn't even have been close," said Poly coach Augie Waibel, a faint trace of blood trickling from his chin.
It was that kind of day for Waibel, whose No. 11-ranked Engineers (1-2, 2 -2) have been hurt by injuries.
Odoms and Wilson have been on crutches since last week's loss to Loyola. Quarterback Mike Forstner dislocated the index finger on his passing hand in the first quarter yesterday and even Waibel could not avoid getting hurt.
"After Wil Boyd scored the winning touchdown, I went to give him a big hug and his helmet caught me under the chin," said Waibel.
Boyd, a senior tailback, could grin about Waibel's mock complaint. He had worked hard for his 85 yards rushing on 19 carries. He had given the Engineers a 6-0 lead four plays into the second quarter on a 28-yard pass-and-run play from Forstner. The fourth of five first-half penalties foiled a two-point conversion attempt.
The Foresters (2-2, 2-3) meanwhile had found the footing slippery and the Engineers' defense rugged. Rentante Sterrette, who finished with 69 yards on 22 carries, was unable to slip away as he had in gaining 503 yards in four previous games.
Nevertheless, Forest Park grabbed the lead just five minutes into the second quarter when quarterback Balam Bahar completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to split end Derrick Batts. Bahar's pass traveled 50 yards in the air and hit Batts in full stride.