Cats beat Griz 24-17
MISSOULA, Mont. - The Bobcats came into Missoula and put an end to Montana's three game win streak in the Brawl of the Wild. The final score was 24-17.
The Griz wasted no time getting on the board in this one. Quarterback Brady Gustafson hit Justin Calhoun for a 58-yard touchdown pass on Montana's first offensive play of the game. That would give the Griz the early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, Montana State used a seven play, 40 yard drive to tie the game. Freshman quarterback Chris Murray took the ball on the keeper and a scary collision forced him into a front flip as he crossed the goal line to make 7-7.
Early in the second quarter, Murray was at it again. This time making defenders miss as he scrambled 48 yards to give the Cats their first lead of the game 14-7.
Murray had 177 yards of rushing on the day with two touchdowns, while Gunnar Brekke ran for 100 yards.
After a blocked field goal the Griz later in the second quarter, the Cats held onto their lead as the game went to halftime.
Out of the intermission, Montana State kicker Gabe Peppenger added to the Cats lead with a 21-yard field goal. Making the score 17-7.
Senior running back Chad Newell continued the scoring streak for the Cats as he punched in a four yard run for a touchdown extending the lead to 24-7 with just under eight minutes to play in the third quarter.
Griz put an end to the Cats' 24 unanswered scoring streak with a 28-yard field goal from Brandon Purdy just before the end of the third quarter. Cats still in control 24-10.
Montana would continue to cut into the Bobcats lead in the fourth quarter. Running back Joey Counts fought his way from three yards out to make the score 24-17 in favor of the Bobcats.
The Griz finished the game with 13 first downs and 305 yards total compared to 405 yards of offense from the Bobcats.
The Bobcats sealed the win on a key fourth down conversion when Murray found Connor Sullivan for a 26-yard completion deep in Griz territory.
Montana State snaps their three year losing streak with a 24-17 in Missoula, also knocking the Griz out of the playoffs.
"I don't know that it's fully sunk in for me yet, but I know it's important and we knew it was important going in," Said Bobcat head coach Jeff Choate. He added, "I think we had the right mindset and the right level of focus and it certainly means a lot to our alumni and to our program and to the state of Montana."
"This is the season. We get to go out as winners. Getting a win in a Cat-Griz game, like I said this is what I came here to do. Beat the Griz... And we got that done," said Chad Newell. He added, "They don't get to play in the playoffs now. We're going to go home but they are too. That makes it even sweeter so I mean just an awesome feeling right now."