The Montana Grizzlies football team enjoyed a 41-14 rout of the fifteenth ranked team in the land, Central Arkansas. The Griz capitalized on early turnovers and momentum to build a 31-0 first half lead. Washington-Grizzly stadium was packed and rocking the entire game, with unbelievable amounts of energy coming from the fans. The Grizzlies were led by running back Jordan Canada and wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, who each scored two touchdowns apiece. The defense seemed to confuse NFL prospect and Arkansas transfer Nathan Dick, forcing turnovers and keeping him from getting comfortable. Quarterback Jordan Johnson was effective for the Grizzlies, who went 16 of 25 for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Grizzlies were led by a pounding ground game, with the combination of Canada, Dan Moore and Peter Nguyen. These three combined for 58 rushes and 229 yards. The Grizzlies will move on to play Northern Iowa at home in the next round of playoff games, this coming weekend.
The Montana State Bobcats survived a scare from New Hampshire, escaping their first playoff game with a 26-25 victory. Kicker Mike MacArthur hit the right upright on the extra point attempt, which sealed the game for the Bobcats. Denarius McGhee threw for 167 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions for the Cats, and also ran for 98 yards and two scores. The Bobcats will move on to play the #1 team in the nation Sam Houston State in Texas next round.
In other scores from around the FCS playoff bracket, #1 seeded Sam Houston State beat Stony Brook 34-27. Third seeded Georgia State beat Old Dominion 55-48. Maine beat Appalachian State 34-12. Lehigh beat Towson 40-38. #2 North Dakota State beat James Madison 26-14. Northern Iowa defeated Wofford 28-21.
Looking forward to next week’s playoff matchups, the 4th seeded Montana Grizzlies face Northern Iowa at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Bobcats play the #1 seeded Sam Houston State in Texas. 3 seeded Georgia Southern takes on Maine at home. Lehigh will hit the road to play the #2 seeded North Dakota State team.
It is also worth noting that if both the Griz and Cats win, a rematch of the annual Brawl of the Wild will take place in Missoula, with the winner advancing to play for the National Championship. You gotta love the playoffs!
Montana will host UNI Friday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. The quarterfinal matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Tickets are available at the GrizTix outlets, GrizTix.com, or 888-MONTANA.
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