UM Sports Trivia | Week of August 25

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

On Friday night for the first time since November of 1972 the Great Falls Russell Rustlers will take the field under the direction if someone other than Jack Johnson.  Johnson guided the Rustlers to 14 state titles and 340 wins in 41 seasons. New Rustler head coach Gary Lowry starred for Johnson’s CMR teams from 1977-79, one of the few spans of time that did not include a state title for CM Russell. This will be the fiftieth year of football at CMR.

As the Hellgate Knights open their football against Helena Capitol it was fifty years ago next week that the school played its first ever football game a 13-2 loss to Great Falls Catholic central. The first touchdown scored on the Knights was by Central quarterback Tom Bulger who 30 years later, while a physician in Missoula, would be Hellgate’s “unofficial” team doctor.

The Montana Grizzlies open on the road for the 12th time in 25 seasons. The Griz have proven to be very good on the road in their opening game having won 8 of their last 11 road openers, including 2 wins at Oregon State and wins at Maine Hofstra, Stephen F. Austen and two at Cal Poly.

Griz Flag Speaking of Cal Poly the Mustangs were the last FCS team to win at Wyoming defeating the Cowboys 24-22 in September2012.

New Wyoming coach Craig Bohl has faced Montana only once as a head coach, but it is a game he’ll never forget. Bohl in his first road game as head coach at North Dakota State brought the Bison to Missoula to face fourth Ranked Grizzlies. Montana lead by 18 in the fourth quarter but the Bison roared back to claim a 25-24 victory. On the other hand Griz coach Mick Delaney has faced the Wyoming Cowboys 15 times as a college coach (as an assistant at Colorado State).  In November of 2007, Colorado  State staged a frantic comeback to win in what would be Sonny Lubick’s last game at CSU.

The Montana State Bobcats are off to Jonesboro Arkansas. For the fourth time in 5 seasons Arkansas State will be debuting a new head coach, as the three previous coaches have all gotten higher echelon jobs in college football. The Bobcats last played in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve 1956 when they tied St. Joseph’s of Indiana for the NAIA national title.

Steve Alford is hoping that lightning will strike again when his Bruins face Montana State in their home opener. In November of 1986 Alford was a senior at Indiana when the Hoosiers opened their season hosting the MSU Bobcats. That Indiana team went on to win the third of Bobby Knight’s three national titles.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.