Ifanse, Montana State run over Montana 48-14
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Isaiah Ifanse ran for 171 and three touchdowns to lead Montana State to a resounding 48-14 win over Montana on Saturday in the 119th Cat-Griz game.
Montana fumbled on it first play and never recovered as MSU scored on its first five possessions to jump out to a 31-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
“That’s soul-taking, tone-setting stuff right there,” said MSU safety Brayden Konkol.
Montana fumbled the ball on the goal line on its last offensive play of the Cat-Griz game last year in a 29-25 loss.
The win was the biggest margin of the rivalry game for the Bobcats (903, 6-2 Big Sky Conference) since 1966 when they won 38-0. The Grizzlies (9-3, 6-2) scored on consecutive possessions in the first, but that was all they could muster in the game between Top 10 FCS teams.
“This game is everything for them,” UM coach Bobby Hauck said. “We need to make it that way for us.”
“You don’t draw it up like that,” an elated MSU coach Jeff Choate said. “Both sides of the ball, the defensive line and offensive line, were dominant. We’re physical like that every week.”
The Bobcats ran for 382 yards -- the most in Cat-Griz history — and had 488 total yards. Logan Jones had 19 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown. Flanker Tyrone Marshall ran for another 81 yards on eight carries and one touchdown. Ifanse’s scores came from 38, 3, and 17 yards. Tristan Bailey kicked field goals of 25 and 30 yards. Tucker Rovig was 7 for 13 passing for 102 yards.
“Tucker doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards for us, he just need to make plays in key situations and he did that today,” Chaote said.
The Bobcats were without star two-way player Troy Andersen, who had scored five rushing touchdowns in the last two Cat-Griz games, due to injury.
“He’s made so many sacrifices physically. The players wanted to step up on his behalf as well as the seniors,” Choate said.
“We spent all week working on Troy,” Hauck said. “There’s certain things they do with Troy that you have to prepare for and we wasted a lot of time on that in practice.”
Marcus Knight ran for both touchdowns for Montana and has 21 total touchdowns, which is third in school history.
Bryce Sterk had four tackles for loss, including 2½ sack, for Montana State.
The Bobcats have now won four straight over the Grizzlies. Choate is 4-0 in Cat-Griz games and MSU has outscored UM 77-17 over the past seven quarters since trailing 22-0 last season in Missoula. The MSU defense has allowed just 48 points the past five games. MSU ran the ball 62 times and had a 37:08 to 22:52 edge in time of possession. The 48 points is the most MSU has scored against Montana.
The win will most likely move eighth-ranked MSU into a top eight seed for the FCS playoffs, which begin next week. MSU would have a bye and play in two weeks. The Grizzlies, who were ranked No. 3 in both polls, will find out if they’re seeded or if they will play a first-round game next week.
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