Bobcats’ tenacious defense leads them to victory over Idaho State

The Bobcats took on conference opponent Idaho State at home this past weekend on Oct. 28. Both teams were victorious in their previous week of play and were hungry to pick up another win.

The game started off electric for the Bobcat offense. They received the first-half kickoff and marched 79 yards down the field, capping off the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Chris Murray to senior wide receiver Mitchell Herbert. The drive also included an incredible 37-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jabarri Johnson.

The Bengals offense began their first two possessions with two turnovers on downs inside MSU territory, and the Cats capitalized on the second consecutive stop. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Murray broke free for a 28-yard gain. The following play, Murray passed to freshman running back Troy Andersen, resulting in a 43-yard touchdown. The Cats closed out the first quarter ahead of Idaho State 14-0.

The Bengals offense came to life in the second quarter. They put together a 75-yard touchdown drive as well as a 94-yard touchdown drive, evening the score going into halftime.

Idaho State received the kickoff in the second-half, but the Bobcat defense was able to force a punt. Montana State’s second play of their next possession was a thrilling 77-yard pass to senior running back Nick LaSane, who eluded several defenders as he made his way down the field. The following play, Murray weaved his way into the endzone for a two-yard touchdown run.

On their next possession, the Bobcat defense made an impressive goal-line stand to stop the Bengals from scoring, despite their promising field position.

Momentum now on the Cats’ side, MSU drove down the field 79 yards, and were on the brink of scoring when Murray threw a costly interception. After several unsuccessful drives by both teams, Idaho State had the ball at their own seven-yard line when senior linebacker Mac Bignell intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, MSU’s first pick-six in three years, putting the Bobcats ahead 28-14 in the fourth quarter. After the game, Bignell was asked about how it felt to score the touchdown. He excitedly responded that “it was unbelievable.”

Montana State’s defense continued to look strong throughout the fourth quarter. The Cats forced Idaho State to punt on two of their drives, and senior defensive back Bryson McCabe intercepted another Bengal pass, effectively ending the game.

Head Coach Jeff Choate applauded his defense after the game, saying, ”I thought our defensive line did a really good job applying pressure in the second half.”

Choate, Murray and junior Zach Wright all praised sophomore punter Jered Padmos. Padmos was able to down all but one of his five punts inside Idaho State’s 20-yard line, including an astonishing 70-yard punt that was downed at ISU’s eight-yard line.

The Bobcats play at home again next weekend, Saturday Nov. 4 at 12:00 p.m. against nationally-ranked opponent Kennesaw State.

Montana State wide receiver Jabarri Johnson (81) stiff arms Idaho State defensive back Caleb Brown (5) during an NCAA football game in Bozeman, Mont. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. Photo by Ashley Shenyer / MSU Exponent