Bobcats Take Back Great Divide Trophy

By Beacon Staff

The shift of power between Montana and Montana State is official. For the second time in three years, the Bobcats own the Great Divide Trophy. For the first time in 27 years, Montana ended the season with a losing record.

The Montana State defense held the Grizzlies scoreless after the first quarter and the Bobcats claimed a 16-7 victory inside a sold-out Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday. The win gave MSU a share of the Big Sky Conference title for the third year in a row, this time with Eastern Washington and Cal Poly.

After finishing with a school-record 10 wins in the regular season, the Bobcats advance to the FCS Playoffs for the eighth time overall and third-straight season. They are seeded third and earned a first-round bye. They will host the winner of Stony Brook and Villanova on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. Stony Brook and Villanova play in New York this Saturday.

The 112th Brawl of the Wild drew a record attendance. There were 26,210 fans in attendance, breaking last year’s record of 26,066 against Eastern Washington.

Kalispell sophomore quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann finished 24-for-43 for 190 yards for the Griz. Bozeman’s junior quarterback DeNarius McGhee was 26-for-47 for 247 yards and a touchdown and interception. Libby’s Joel Fuller started at strong safety for Montana State and had six tackles. Kalispell’s Josh Harris capped an impressive career at defensive end with Montana with six tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player after battling injuries the past few seasons but starting 10 of 11 games this season.

The Grizzlies snapped a streak of 26 straight winning seasons dating back to 1985. Montana finished the season 5-6 overall and 3-5 in conference.

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