Bobcats hold off Grizzlies, clinch FCS playoff berth
Denarius McGhee threw two first-quarter touchdown passes and Montana State held on to beat Montana 21-16 on Saturday at Missoula, Mont., and clinch the Big Sky Conference championship.
With the win, the Bobcats (9-2, 7-1) earned an automatic berth in the FCS playoffs. Montana (7-4, 5-3) will find out today if it receives an at-large playoff bid.
McGhee threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Bleskin on Montana State's opening drive, and added 9-yard scoring pass to C.J. Palmer.
Montana kept pace in the high-scoring first quarter with touchdown runs of 59 yards by Chase Reynolds and 6 yards by Justin Roper. Reynolds finished with 180 yards rushing.
Orenzo Davis gave the Bobcats the lead for good on a 17-yard run in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies wasted a pair of scoring chances in the second half when they fumbled the ball away twice inside the Montana State 5-yard line.
Eastern Washington 34, Idaho State 7: At Cheney, Bo Levi Mitchell threw four first-half touchdowns, including two to Brandon Kaufman, as Eastern Washington rolled to a victory over Idaho State.
Taiwan Jones added 108 yards rushing as the Eagles (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) earned a share of the conference title with Montana State. The Bobcats earned the automatic FCS playoff bid due to a 30-7 victory over Eastern Washington on Sept. 25.
Russel Hill threw for 186 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals (1-10, 0-8), playing their final game under coach John Zamberlin, whose firing was announced last week after four seasons.
Mitchell, who completed 26 of 38 for 256 yards, threw scoring passes of 10 and 30 yards to Kaufman as Eastern Washington grabbed a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
He later connected on TD passes of 11 yards to Jones and 31 yards to Greg Herd as the Eagles opened a 28-7 halftime lead.
Carroll College 35, Azusa Pacific 21: At Helena, Mont., John Camino ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns and Gary Wagner completed 9 of 16 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns as Carroll College defeated Azusa Pacific in a first round NAIA playoff game.
Second-ranked Carroll (11-0) used two big plays in the second half to break open a tight game to stop No. 18 Azusa Pacific (6-4).
Ryan Egan returned a kickoff 76 yards about midway through the third quarter and, with the extra point, put the Saints up 28-21.
With 2:46 left in the game, Wagner connected with Corey Peterson with a 59 yard scoring pass to make it 35-21.
Carroll hosts Marian (Ind.) (10-2) next Saturday.