Sullivan Kicks Grizzlies to Victory Over North Dakota

By ERIC TABER for GoGriz.com

Junior kicker Daniel Sullivan kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired, as the 7th-ranked University of Montana Grizzlies defeated upset-minded North Dakota 18-15 Saturday afternoon in a Big Sky Conference contest in UND’s Alerus Center.

UND scored 15 unanswered fourth-quarter points to tie the game at 15-all with 5:49 left to play.

UND (2-4/0-2) had a chance to take the lead with 1:03 remaining, but kicker Reid Taubenheim’s 40-yard field goal was blocked by Griz (4-2/2-0) freshman center Robert Luke and UM had new life.

After UND’s missed field goal, Montana started from its own 41-yard line, and on the first play QB Shay Smithwick-Hann connected with wide receiver Jamaal Jones for a 46-yard completion and the Griz had the ball on the UND 10-yard line. Two plays later Sullivan kicked the game-winner.

The Griz defense held UND to 60 total yards and 4 first downs in the first half. Wagenmann led the way for Montana with 2 first-half sacks, and UM led 8-0 at the break.

UM vs UND Football 2014The Griz had 137 yards and 11 first downs in the openinghalf.

The Griz took a 15-0 lead when senior halfback Travon Van plowed over for a a scoring run on a 4th-and-2 play with 2:57 left in the third quarter.

UND got on the board with 6:37 left to play on a 3-yard run by redshirt freshman Kyle Norberg, cutting the Griz lead to 15-7.

UND battled back to tie the game when junior cornerback Chris Brown picked off a Smithwick-Hann pass and returned it for a 14-yard TD. Sophomore QB Joe Mollbweg hit tight end Luke Matthewson for the game-tying 2-point conversion.

Smithwick-Hann was subbing for starter Jordan Johnson, who was on the Griz sideline on crutches after suffering an injury in the first half.

Smithwick-Hann was 12-of-21-1 for 128 yards and a TD. Jones had 7 catches for 114 yards, while Travon Van had 7 grabs for 58 yards.

Montana scored its first touchdown of the game with 2:19 left until halftime, when senior quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann hit senior halfback/wide receiver Travon Van on a 10-yard scoring pass. However, Dan Sullivan’s PAT attempt missed, and the Griz had an 8-0 lead.

Smithwick-Hann had replaced starter Jordan Johnson for the second time in the opening half when Johnson had been shaken up on two different plays.

Jordan Canada led the Griz with 53 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Montana’s defense was led be senior end Zack Wagenmann, who had 8 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Junior linebacker Herbert Gamboa and senior safety Matt Hermanson had 7 tackles each.

Wagenmann is now tied for fourth in career sacks with 29, and fifth in tackles for loss with 41.

The Griz have an open week Oct. 11, while UND hosts Portland State that day.

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