Montana Denies In-state Rival Montana State, Wins 29-10

Grizzlies entered 120th Brawl of the Wild having not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters

By Associated Press
The Grizzlies enter Washington Grizzly-Stadium ahead of a game against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in Washington-Grizzly stadium in Missoula on on Oct. 30, 2021. Phto by John Sieber/UM Athletics

MISSOULA — Kevin Macias kicked five field goals, Montana scored a touchdown on the second play of the game, and the Grizzlies beat in-state rival Montana State 29-10 in front of a record home crowd on Saturday in the 120th Brawl of the Wild.

Montana (9-2, 6-2), ranked seventh in the FCS coaches poll, snapped a four-game losing streak in the series and denied third-ranked Montana State (9-2, 7-1) a chance of securing an outright Big Sky Conference title.

It was a record 26,856 in attendance at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Grizzlies essentially put the game away late in the third quarter when Montana State attempted a fake field goal.

Bobcats’ holder Bryce Leighton looked to either pitch the ball or run it, but Montana’s Jace Lewis knocked the ball free while diving to block the kick. Justin Ford scooped it up and returned it 56 yards into the end zone and the Grizzlies led 26-3.

The game featured some of the best defenses in the FCS. The Grizzlies entered having not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters. The Bobcats had the fifth-ranked defense, holding opponents to an average of 21 points and 355 yards.

Montana’s Camron Humphrey threw a strike to Junior Bergen in the middle of the field, who then ran untouched for a 74-yard touchdown on the game’s second play from scrimmage.

On the ensuing series, Matthew McKay led the Bobcats to the Montana 5, but two false-start penalties and a sack forced a 35-yard field goal from Blake Glessner.

Humphrey completed 13 of 22 passes for 220 yards but also threw two interceptions. Macias was perfect on field goal attempts that included a career-best 50-yarder. It was Montana’s first field goal made from 50 yards since 2013.

McKay was 13-of-25 passing for 108 yards. He threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Nate Stewart with 48 seconds remaining.

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