Griz Rally to Defeat UC Davis 42-28 (PHOTO GALLERY)


Senior halfback Jordan Canada broke loose for three long touchdown runs and senior quarterback Jordan Johnson had two scoring passes and also rushed for a TD, to lead the University of Montana Grizzlies to a 42-28 Big Sky Conference victory over the upset-minded and visiting UC Davis Aggies Saturday afternoon in front of appreciative crowd of 25,7666 fans in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Grizzlies (5-2/3-0 BSC) took a 7-0 lead with 29 seconds left in the opening quarter on 24-yard pass fromDe Jordan Johnson to wide receiver Jamaal Jones, who leaped over the Aggies’ defender to make the scoring grab.

UC Davis (1-6/0-4) scored two unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter, the first one was a 9-yard pass from quarterback Ben Scott to wide receiver Ramon Vargas, and the second was an 8-yard throw from Scott to halfback Gabe Manzanares. That made the score 14-7 Aggies with 3:34 left until halftime.

Oh Canada photo by Mark Mesenko

Jordan Canada for the touchdown. Photo by ©Mark Mesenko for Make it Missoula.

Montana regained the lead for good when Johnson scrambled in from 5 yards out with 50 seconds remaining until halftime, tying the game a 14-14 at the break.

The Griz regained the lead (21-14) for good with 5:27 to go in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to senior tight end Mitch Saylor.

After that it was all Canada and some key stops by the defense. With 43 seconds remaining in the third stanza Canada broke a couple of tackles and then turned on the after-burners, scoring on a 74-yard run – the fifth longest rushing TD in school history.

The Aggies battled back, though, as Scott tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to 5-10, 225-pound running back Dalton Turay, who caught the ball on the 5-yard line and powered his way into the end zone for a score. That trimmed the Griz lead to 28-21 with 9:41 left in the game.


Zach Wagenmann. Photo by ©Mark Mesenko for Make it Missoula.

It took Montana just two plays and 42 seconds to answer the UC Davis TD, though, as Canada scored on a 24-yard run to give UM a 35-21 lead with 8:53 remaining in the contest. Canada’s scoring run was set up on a 46-yard completion from Johnson to Jones.

The Aggies cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 35-28 on their next possession, as Scott threw a 15-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Ramon Vargas 4:55 to go.

Canada, who had just one rushing touchdown in UM’s first six games, scored his third TD of the game on a 21-yard run to give the Griz a 42-28 advantage with 2:22 left to play. The Griz offense scored on four of their six second-half possessions.

Montana’s defense stopped UC Davis on its final two possessions in a pair of fourth down situations. The first late drive that the Griz thwarted stopped they took over the ball on UC Davis’ 21-yard line, and then Canada scored from there on UM’s first play from scrimmage after making the fourth down stop. UCD’s final drive ended on its own 27, and Johnson took a knee on three straight plays and time expired. UM held UC Davis’ potent offense to 190 total yards in the second half, including 48 yards rushing.

Griz win over UC Davis. Photo by Mark Mesenko

Montana Grizzlies win over UC Davis. Photo by ©Mark Mesenko for Make it Missoula.

Canada rushed 15 times for 152 yards and the 3 TDs. It was his 10th career 100-yard rushing game. Senior halfback Travon Van added 63 yards on 10 totes.

Johnson was 18-of-27-0 passing for a season-high 280 yards and 2 scores. Jones had 5 receptions for 146 yards and a TD, while Saylor tied his career-high with 5 catches.
UM’s three starting junior linebackers, Jeremiah Kose, Kendrick Van Ackeren, and Herbert Gamboa had game-highs of 12, 11, and 11 tackles, respectively. Gamboa also had 2 TFLs, a sack, and a forced fumble.

Johnson now has 6,901 career passing yards to move up to fifth in school history, going by John Edwards (6,704 yards, 1999-2002) and Brad Lebo (6,717 yards, 1989-92).

UM Vs UC DAVIS STATSJones now has 1,284 career receiving yards, which moves him on to UM’s career list at 30th.

Senior free safety Matt Hermanson had 5 tackles against the Aggies, and now has 292 in his career, which moves him up to 12th all-time, passing linebacker Jason Crebo (289 tackles, 1994-97).

Scott was 20-of-37-0 for 257 yards and 4 TDs. Vargas had 8 grabs for 129 yards and 2 TDs. Manzanares rushed 19 times for 110 yards, but was limited to 19 yards in the second half.

Montana is at Cal Poly next Saturday, Oct. 25, in a 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) game. UC Davis has a bye.

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