MISSOULA – Clifton McDowell threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score and Montana cruised past Delaware 49-19 in a snowy second-round matchup of the FCS Championship on Saturday night.
Montana (11-1) has won eight in a row and will host Furman (9-2) in the quarterfinals. The game is a rematch of the 2001 title game, won by the Grizzlies 13-6. The Paladins eliminated Chattanooga 26-7 in the second round. Delaware ends its season with a 9-4 record.
Montana took 7:30 off the clock on its first possession, capping a 16-play, 54-yard drive with Nico Ramos’ 43-yard field goal. Delaware went three-and-out on its first two possessions and the Grizzlies blocked and recovered the second punt at the Delaware 27-yard line. Xavier Harris scored on a first-down run and Montana took a 10-0 lead.
The Grizzlies led 16-0 nine seconds into the second quarter after Nick Ostmo scored on a 35-yard run and the two-point conversion failed. Delaware got on the scoreboard when Ryan O’Connor threw a 44-yard scoring strike to Chandler Harvin.
Ramos followed with a field goal, Clifton McDowell teamed up with Keelan White for a 55-yard touchdown and the Grizzlies recovered a botched punt in the end zone for a 28-6 advantage with 5:31 left. McDowell added a 20-yard touchdown run before O’Connor and Harvin hooked up for a 13-yard score and Montana led 35-12 at halftime.
Jaxon Lee returned a fumble 56 yards for a score, McDowell hit Evan Shafer for a 25-yard touchdown and the Grizzlies led 49-12 with 6:36 left in the third quarter and coasted to the victory.
McDowell completed 10 of 19 passes for 186 yards with one interception for Montana. White had four catches for 88 yards. Ostmo carried 10 times for 64 yards.
O’Connor totaled 197 yards on 17-of-36 passing with an interception for the Fightin’ Blue Hens. Harvin caught four passes for 76 yards.
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