On a rainy Saturday afternoon in Missoula, the Montana Grizzlies (3-1) bested the visiting Monmouth Hawks (2-2) with a 47-27 romp fueled by 21 second-quarter points.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Grizzlies defense shut down the Hawks top-ranked rushing attack and forced Monmouth to beat them through the air.
The previously fourth-best rushing team in the country rushed for just 81 yards on 33 carries (2.5 yards per carry). Monmouth running back Pete Guerriero—who had rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown in his previous three games—rushed for just 47 yards on the day.
Due to a lack of QB pressure from the Grizzly defensive line, Monmouth quarterback Kenji Bahar completed 34 of his 50 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns.
And although the Grizzly defense did intercept two Bahar throws, the Montana offense was the story line of the day.
Along with Marcus Knight’s 148-yard, 1-touchdown performance (Montana’s first 100-yard rusher of the season), the Maroon and Silver amassed 358 yards through the air and 221 yards on the ground.
While receivers Samori Toure (3 catches, 43 yards) and Sammy Akem (4 catches, 23 yards) usually lead the way, today wide out Mitch Roberts and tight ends Bryson Deming and Colin Bingham combined for 13 catches for 198 yards and four touchdowns, including one Bingham touchdown thrown on a trick play by Samori Toure.
Defensively, Dante Olson led the way with 13 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.
On special teams, Malik Flowers set a modern Griz record with a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second quarter to put Montana up 14-7.
The Grizzlies will go on the road this upcoming week to take on Big Sky powerhouse UC Davis.
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