After losing the home-opener, the Bobcats retaliated with a strong win in North Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 23. This was the team’s first win of the season, and the game was played at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Not trailing once throughout the game, the final score was 49-21, making their first game in the Big Sky Conference this season a victory. To make matters better, Montana State also broke the Fighting Hawks’ 11-game winning streak within the Big Sky Conference.
Montana State started the game with a three-and-out on the opening possession. It looked troubling as the Fighting Hawks made it into field goal range, but sophomore offensive tackle Mitch Brott blocked the Hawks’ attempt at a 45-yard field goal.
This block provided the team with some momentum as they scored in each of the following three drives, making the score a 21-0 Bobcat lead.
The first touchdown was made by junior running back Logan Jones as he made it into the end zone from 11 yards out. Sophomore quarterback Chris Murray brought the Cats 72 yards down the field after connecting on three of four passes. MSU brought the score up to 14-0 when freshman Troy Anderson ran in his first collegiate touchdown from the two-yard line. After holding North Dakota in their next possession, Murray connected with senior Wilson Brott on a 12-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 21-0.
The Fighting Hawks responded with a field goal and a touchdown of their own, but MSU scored again before the half following a 13-yard touchdown pass from Murray to junior wide receiver Jabarri Johnson.
The score was 28-10 going into the half. MSU came out strong in the third quarter, scoring on their first two possessions with a touchdown by sophomore wide-receiver Kevin Kassis following a 44-yard reception and a 27-yard rushing touchdown by Anderson.
Not only did the team shine offensively, but the Bobcats were defensive force as well. Sophomore linebacker Brayden Konkol provided MSU with a spark when he intercepted a pass from North Dakota’s Keaton Studsrud. The Bobcats scored again from a one-yard drive by Chris Murray. The Cats held North Dakota to only 255 total yards, with 150 in the air and 105 on the ground, while MSU tallied 515 yards.
Murray and Anderson combined for a total of 130 yards. Murray threw 15-for-19, tallying up 174 yards and four touchdowns. Leading the defense with six tackles each, senior Mac Bignell and Konkol shined.
Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come for the 2017-2018 season and especially the Homecoming game this Saturday, Sept. 30 against Weber State. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium.