Montana cruises past Mountaineers
by Staff Reports
MISSOULA, Mont. -- The beginning of the Scott Satterfield era got off to a rocky start in the Rocky Mountains.
Montana, ranked No. 20 in the preseason Sports Network poll, ran through, over and around the No. 12 Mountaineers in a 30-6 victory in front of a Washington-Grizzly Stadium crowd 26,293 Saturday night. It was the largest crowd to watch a football game in the state of Montana.
Montana led 16-3 at halftime, and then tacked on two more fourth quarter touchdowns to complete the highly anticipated matchup of the two traditional FCS powers into a route.
Montana (1-0) had two runners rush for over 100 yards, and quarterback Jordan Johnson completed his first 12 passes. Johnson, who missed the 2012 season because of legal issues, completed 12 of his first 13 passes for 166 yards.
Appalachian State (0-1) fell behind 16-0 before backup quarterback Kameron Bryant led a scoring drive in the final minute of the first half. Bryant completed a 34-yard pass to Tony Washington and a 20-yarder to Simms McElfresh to set up a 48-yard Drew Stewart field goal as time ran out in the first half.
It was a career long for Stewart.
Bryant also led the Mountaineers to a 22-yard field goal on their first drive of the second half. The Mountaineers drove down to the Montana 1-yard line, but running back Ricky Fergerson was thrown for a 4-yard loss on a third-and-goal from the 1.
Appalachian State, which struggled to stop the Montana offense in the first half, bottled the Grizzlies in their first two drives of the third quarter. The Mountaineers looked like they were going to score more points on their second drive of the third, but Bryant fumbled after being hit on a 19-yard gain.
The Mountaineers got the ball back on their 7-yard line after a punt, but Bryant was intercepted at the Appalachian State 42. Montana converted the turnover into a Jordan Canada 1-yard touchdown run, which gave the Grizzlies a 23-6 lead.
Johnson added another touchdown, this time on a 10-yard pass TD pass to Jordan Harper.
Appalachian State's offense, which sputtered for much of the game, looked sharp on its first drive. The Mountaineers moved to the Montana 28, but Stewart missed a 45-yard field goal.
Montana moved straight down the field on its first drive, but failed to convert a fourth-and-one from the App State 26. The Grizzlies, on their second drive, moved to the App State 3-yard line before Johnson fumbled the ball away.
Montana finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on a Johnson 6-yard pass to Ellis Henderson, who set the play up with a 50-yard completion. The extra point was blocked, but the Grizzlies led 6-0.
They took a 13-0 lead on a Travon Van 2-yard touchdown, which capped a nine-play, 82-yard drive. Montana's Derek Crittenden blocked an App State punt at the 12-yard line on the Mountaineers' next possession, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal and a 16-0 lead.
Appalachian State's starting quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson battle an upper body injury suffered late in the first half. He finished with 89 yards passing, which was his second lowest total in his 20 career starts. He threw for 64 yards before injuring his knee against Western Carolina last season.
Bryant completed 8-of-12 passes for 116 and an interception.