BOZEMAN — Montana State ran wild on Monmouth in the first half and cruised to a 42-24 win in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
MSU scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to go up 22-0, the last a 90-yard run by Shawn Johnson. The Bobcats rolled up 388 total yards, including 205 rushing by halftime, before a stadium record 21,007 fans. They finished with 561 total yards.
Brad Daly led the defensive charge for the Bobcats. The end had four quarterback hurries, four tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in the first half alone. He set up a touchdown for tackle Craig Ashworth by harassing Brandon Hill into a bad throw. He then blocked the quarterback and raced to the sideline for a second block, allowing Ashworth to score.
“It was a great play by Ashworth, but let’s be honest he doesn’t score without Daly’s blocking,” MSU coach Rob Ash said.
Julian Hayes ran for 135 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown for Monmouth.
“They got off to an incredibly hot start,” Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said. “We were in a hole early, a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
Cody Kirk ran for two first-half scores, setting a school career record for rushing touchdowns with 31.
“It was awesome to see Cody get the record,” Ash said. “He sets an example for everyone on this football team with hard work and extra effort.”
Hill passed for 240 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 77-yarder to Eric Sumlin.
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