MSU, UM celebrate victories in first week of conference football play
The Montana State University and the University of Montana football programs both brought home big wins over the weekend in the first week of Big Sky Conference play.
The Bobcats struggled in Cheney, Washington on Saturday against the Eastern Washington University Eagles. Backup quarterback Sean Chambers ran for a total of 144 yards and two touchdowns, and passed for 69 yards and another touchdown following the first quarter head injury suffered by starting quarterback Tommy Mellott. MSU announced Monday that Mellott will miss the upcoming game against UC Davis.
With less than a minute left in the game and trailing 31-35, the Bobcats turned over the ball in the end zone with an intercepted pass from Chambers. MSU forced a fumble on the next play that was recovered by Bobcat safety Ty Okada. On the second carry of the game’s final drive, Chambers ran the ball 13 yards for a touchdown, securing a 38-35 win over the Eagles.
The Grizzlies hosted Portland State University, bringing home a 53-16 homecoming win. Senior safety Robby Hauck, son of the Grizzlies’ head coach Bobby Hauck, returned a missed 52-yard Vikings field goal attempt 99 yards for a UM touchdown going into halftime. Robby also became Montana’s all-time leading tackler during the game on Saturday, with 402 career tackles.
The game was characterized by big plays from the Grizzlies. Junior Bergen scored on a 72-yard punt return, Nico Ramos secured points on a 46-yard field goal and Xavier Harris boasted a 64-yard rushing touchdown.
Montana ended the game with 396 yards of offense, nearly 200 more yards than Portland State.