PHOTO GALLERY: Griz Roll Appalachian State in Season Opener


Led by reinstated quarterback Jordan Johnson, the Montana Grizzlies opened their 2013 season with an unchallenged 30-6 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

From the outset the Mountaineers struggled to move the chains against a brick-wall Montana defense.  After some initial sparring, the Grizzlies were poised to break the ice when a Cam Warren reception at the end of the first quarter put them into scoring range.

They were unable to convert however, and the shift in momentum towards the Appalachian bench brought the night’s first opportunity for Gregorak’s defense to really shine.  The crowd (at 26,293 a new stadium record) erupted, and the Grizzly D forced three and out in a crucial series that left the Mountaineers deflated and out of options.

Griz Vs App State photo by Austin Smith

Photo by Austin Smith.

Johnson found Ellis Henderson for a six-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive, but a missed field goal set the board at 6-0.  The subsequent Appalachian effort was interrupted by senior strong safety Bo Tully’s interception, and a touchdown from junior Travon Van took the last bit of heart out of the Mountaineers.

Running backs Van and Jordan Canada combined for 230 rushing yards and two touchdowns.  Johnson enjoyed very high numbers for his first game back on the gridiron, throwing 19-23 for 251 passing yards and two touchdowns of his own.  The defense was led by senior linebackers John Kanongata’a and Jordan Tripp; Kanongata’a with nine tackles and Tripp with seven.

The Grizzlies will have a tough matchup next week in North Dakota against a team coming off an impressive win over Valparaiso.  They return to Washington-Grizzly stadium on September 21st to face Oklahoma Panhandle State.