Good football drives ASU rivalry with Montana
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
They don't even have to be in the same conference or live in same region. Sometimes, it just comes down to the quality of teams.
In the case of Appalachian State and Montana, it's the clash of two powerful FCS programs that have been successful during the last two decades. It doesn't seem to matter where the teams finish in their respective conferences or what their records are.
"It's an awesome game, no matter where you play," App State coach Scott Satterfield said. "They all come down to the last series. These are games that players love to play. It just so happens that this is the first game of the season."
Appalachian State's brief history with Montana has resulted in three classic finishes. The Grizzlies beat App State 19-16 in the 2000 semifinals of the Division I-AA playoffs in Missoula in overtime after the Mountaineers tied the game 13-13 with a field goal.
The Mountaineers nearly scored a late fourth quarter touchdown, but the speedy Troy Albea was stopped seven yards from the end zone on a tunnel screen, and the Mountaineers could not punch the ball in.
Montana held on to take a 24-17 victory in the semifinals of the 2009 FCS playoffs after App State quarterback Armanti Edwards nearly led a comeback that was three yards shy of the goal line.
This time, Brian Quick could not bring in a fourth down pass from Edwards on the goal line.
In 2012, Appalachian State beat Montana 35-27.
Appalachian State fell behind 7-0, but scored the next three touchdowns to take a 21-7 first quarter lead. It wasn't enough as Montana scored 14 points in the second to tie the game 21-21 by halftime.
Montana's Dan Moore scored on an 87-yard pass play from quarterback Trent McKinney, but App State's Steven Miller answered with a 2-yard run to give the Mountaineers a 35-27 lead with 5:05 left.
Montana started a final drive from its own 11-yard line, and kept it going with a third down conversion and two four-down conversions. With less than 30 seconds left, McKinney's deep pass was intercepted by Demetrius McCray, which final iced the game with 18 seconds left.