Griz Triumph Over the Cats 28-14 in 113th Brawl of the Wild (Photo Gallery)

By AUSTIN SMITH

“1 – 2 – 3 – Bye Week!” was the cry after the Grizzlies beat the Montana State Bobcats 28-14 in Saturday’s 113th Brawl of the Wild.  The win was Montana’s 70th of the series, and puts the Grizzlies in the running for the 2013 FCS Playoffs – after the bye week, of course.

The Griz started slow in the face of the Bobcats’ bristling defense, struggling to get yardage and opting to punt on their first three possessions.

“We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the beginning,” said quarterback Jordan Johnson in the post-game press conference.  “It was just us beating us.”

AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula2

Senior Linebacker, Jordan Trip. Photo by Austin Smith.

All of that changed at the outset of the third quarter.  Montana marched its opening possession straight down the field for a three-yard Travon Van touchdown run, and forced a Bobcat punt on the subsequent series.

The two defenses traded stops until Montana State blocked a Grizzly field goal from their own 42 with a little over three minutes left in the third quarter.  The Cats were unable to convert the block, punted, forced the Griz to do the same, and ultimately took over on their own 16 yard line with a little over 12 minutes left in the game.

The Cats’ comeback was squashed, however, when a John Kanongata’a fumble recovery set up a 20-yard Johnson touchdown pass, pushing the score to 21-7 with nine minutes on the clock.  A flurry of penalties gave Montana State a first down on the Grizzlies’ 19 yard line, which they then converted via Shawn Johnson one-yard rush to make it 21-14.

Despite Montana State’s push, the game was sealed shortly thereafter with Jordan Canada’s eight-yard rush.  The Griz stopped the ‘Cats on their subsequent attempt, kneeled out the clock and, as a unit, pressed towards the sideline to get their hands on the Great Divide Trophy.

GAME STATS (PDF)   CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula6.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula7.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula5.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula15.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula2.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula3.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula2.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula1.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula3.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula4.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula11.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula9.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula6.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula1.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula8.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula12.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula14.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula5.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula10.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula13.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...
grizcat - AustinSmith_MakeItMissoula7.jpg
grizcat - AustinSmit...