Griz Outgun PSU for Homecoming Victory (PHOTO GALLERY)

By AUSTIN SMITH

The Montana Grizzlies continue to dominate the Big Sky Conference, taking their season to 4-1 after a 55-27 Homecoming victory over the Portland State Vikings on Saturday afternoon.

Montana’s defense had an impressive day, standing strong for two goal-line stops and forcing several momentum-stealing turnovers including an endzone fumble recovery midway through the first quarter.  The Grizzlies have won 18 of their last 19 Homecoming matchups, and celebrate their eighth consecutive victory over the Vikings.

Senior quarterback Jordan Johnson threw for 203 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with receiver Clay Pierson for a 36-yard touchdown three minutes after kickoff to start the rout.  A few plays later Travon Van broke free for a 42-yard touchdown sprint, adding to his 136 total yards and taking the scoreboard to 14-6.

The beginning of the end for PSU came on the next drive, as Viking quarterback Kieran McDonagh was crushed in his own end zone and fumbled into the hands of UM linebacker Jordan Tripp for a defensive touchdown.  Portland was unable to recover from the blow and, despite scoring three more touchdowns before the final whistle, finished the match-up against the Grizzly third string.

Freshman kicker Ben Worst, named BSC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Oklahome Panhandle State September 21, has officially taken over.  He tallied seven free kicks Saturday afternoon, adding to his 13 total points that included a 45-yard bomb with 9:00 minutes left in the fourth.

Montana is nearing their season’s halfway point, and will travel to UC Davis next Saturday for a televised BSC game.  They then return to Missoula for back-to-back home games, hosting Cal Poly on October 19 and Eastern Washington on October 26.

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