Defense Leads N. Arizona to Win Over Montana

By Beacon Staff

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Northern Arizona’s defense returned two fumbles for scores, including Ryan Reardon’s 98-yarder, and the Lumberjacks smothered the Montana offense in a 34-16 victory Saturday night.

Trailing 14-3 in the second quarter, the Grizzlies had fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line when Jordan Johnson fumbled near the goal line and Reardon’s long return gave Northern Arizona (3-1, 1-0 Big Sky) a 21-3 lead. The Grizzlies opened the third quarter with another fumble and Marcus Alford’s 22-yard return made it 28-3.

Northern Arizona’s Zach Bauman rushed for 118 yards and scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter, including one for 41 yards, to give the Lumberjacks an early 14-0 lead.

Montana (3-1, 0-1) finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Johnson tossed a 15-yard score to Mitch Saylor. Johnson was 17 of 38 for 292 yards and threw two touchdowns.

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