By AUSTIN SMITH
Offense was the order of the day as the Grizzlies coasted to an absolute blowout victory over the Idaho State Bengals on Saturday afternoon.
The Griz scored on both of their initial possessions en route to a 70-24 stomping, backed up by a powerful defensive unit that kept the Bengals guessing all day.
After marching down the field for a Jordan Canada touchdown, the Grizzly defense strapped on their cleats and started their second series with an interception. The pick set up Smithwick-Hann’s 17-yard bomb to senior wide receiver Sam Gratton, the 14-0 touchdown his only reception on the day.
Jordan Tripp’s defensive heavy hitters road-blocked the Bengals into a field goal and a punt on their next two offensive possessions, setting the stage for Griz rushing leader Peter Nguyen’s 50-yard touchdown dash to take the score to 28-3.
As a faltering Bengal offense sought to break the dam swiftly swelling before them, Jordan Tripp not only caused a crucial fumble, but also recovered the loose ball and thundered 80 yards to the house. After another Smithwick-Hann touchdown pass to freshman running back Joey Counts, the ‘Maroon Marauders’ jogged into halftime up 42-10.
The Bengals were able to score only twice more before the rout was complete. For the Griz, Counts logged another five yarder from Smithwick-Hann to open the third, Kirschner snagged his second rushing touchdown on the day, and freshman receiver Cam Warren got in on the action with a three yard rushing score.
The nail in Idaho State’s striped coffin came on an impressive, untouched-across-the-line 37-yard quarterback keeper by redshirt freshman quarterback Adam Brzeczek.
The Grizzlies will be in Ogden, Utah next Saturday, November 3, to face the Weber State Wildcats. They will return home on November 17 for the final game of the regular season, a rivalry matchup against the Montana State Bobcats.
Austin Smith is a 21-year resident of the Missoula area, and an ardent fisherman, hunter, and snowboarder. When not working on the University of Montana campus, taking classes in the Journalism program, or contributing to the social media efforts of several local organizations, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his Akita and his family.