MISSOULA – For most of the first half Saturday, Montana didn’t look like the higher division team.
The Grizzly offense was held scorless by Division II Western State, Colo., in the first quarter before posting a 38-0 victory.
“The goal is to win the game,” Montana coach Bobby Hauck said. “We did that and did it convincingly. But I wasn’t impressed with our performance in the first half.”
Steve Pfahler led Montana (1-0) with two second-half touchdown receptions, and the Montana defense did its part, holding Western State (0-2) to 116 total yards.
“I thought our football team played pretty good in the first half,” Western State coach Pat Stewart said. “But in the second half, the University of Montana just wore us down.”
Chase Reynolds paced Montana’s attack with 100 yards on 18 carries, while Tyler Palmer hauled in six catches for a game-high 87 yards.
Shaun Sittrop led Western State with nine catches for 42 yards.
Montana’s offense finally began to click in the third quarter. Pfahler hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Selle and a 10-yard scoring toss from Justin Roper to give the Grizzlies a 24-0 lead.
“On both those plays, I was just thinking don’t drop the ball and get in the end zone,” Pfahler said.
Montana added two more touchdowns in the fourth on a 9-yard run by Peter Nguyen and a 1-yard plunge by Dan Moore.
Montana got on the board with 13:09 to play in the second quarter on a Brody McKnight field goal. Reynolds then scored on a 5-yard run to put Montana up 10-0 with 3:04 left in the half.
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