In a game at the stadium one broadcaster referred to as the "Animal House", the National stage was set Friday night, and the Montana Grizzlies stepped up to the challenge winning a game that got out of hand, 48-10 over the Northern Iowa Panthers. In a game that was featured in primetime on ESPN, the Griz faithful were out in massive numbers and there was plenty of energy to rock the stadium and show the nation what Griz football is all about. The Panthers drew first blood as Tirrell Rennie connected with Jerred Herring to give them a 7-0 lead. The crowd seemed rocked by the early score, but Montana tied it up at 7 with a Jordan Canada touchdown run.

At this point, Griz QB Jordan Johnson took the game over. He showed his athletic ability, scrambling around with brilliant runs and throwing perfectly placed passes. He connected to WR Sam Gratton on passes of 8 and 25 yards, Kavario Middleton for 5 yards and even added a 6 yard touchdown run of his own.

The Montana defense kept up it's stellar play, holding the dangerous Panthers offense to 290 yards, and only 25 yards to the Northern Iowa option scheme. The Griz fed off the crowd, and some of the usual suspects stepped up to make big plays. All American players Caleb McSurdy and Trumaine Johnson showed why they were chosen as two of the best in the nation. McSurdy led the team with 10 tackles and Johnson had an interception for his second straight playoff game. Cornerback Donny Lisowski returned an interception for a touchdown and the final score, placing the exclamation point on the victory. This moves the Grizzlies' record to 11-0 at home in FCS Quarterfinals games and ESPN cameras frequently captured the 23,049 fans going crazy. The Grizzlies now face Sam Houston State in Texas next weekend with a shot at the National title on the line. The Griz play Friday night, pre-game begins at 4 pm and kickoff is at 6pm. Be sure to listen to the game on AM 1290 KGVO.

Lafe Boucher