The University of Montana Grizzlies fought the Northern Alabama University Lions tooth and nail on Saturday night, Sept. 7, and emerged victorious, winning the home-opener 61-17.
The first touchdown of the evening came with just over six minutes left in the first quarter from Marcus Knight. It was followed closely by a touchdown from the Lions. Place kicker Brandon Purdy closed the first quarter for the Griz with a 36-yard field goal, leaving the Griz up 10-7.
The Lions scored just twice more: a field goal and a touchdown during the second quarter.
The Griz responded with single touchdown in the second quarter.
After heading into the locker room at the half with a single-point deficit (17-16), the Griz buried the Lions in the second half, scoring four touchdowns in the third quarter and three in the fourth quarter. Marcus Knight led scoring with three touchdowns, for a total of 21 points.
The Grizzlies will play away at the University of Oregon next weekend, on Sept. 14. The Ducks are ranked at 16th in the AP top 25 and will pose a challenge to the Griz. Kickoff is at 8:45 p.m. mountain time, and the game can be watched on the PAC12 network.
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University of Montana senior tight end Colin Bingham leads the team onto the field before their game against the Northern Alabama Lions, Sept. 7, 2019.
University of Montana senior place kicker Adam Wilson runs the ball toward the Northern Alabama University defense and up the line for the Griz during the first quarter of the 61-17 victory over the Lions Saturday, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The game was the first home game of the season for the Griz.
A University of Montana cheerleader is tossed up into the air during a timeout in the first quarter. Just over 24,000 football fans were in attendance for the Grizzlies' first home victory.
University of Montana sophomore running back Marcus Knight pushes out of the pile-up and toward the nearby end zone during the third quarter to score his third touchdown of the game. Knight scored the first touchdown for the Griz in the first quarter and followed up with two touchdowns in the third.
University of Montana junior safety Gavin Crow yells to his teammate for help after sustaining a knee injury late in the first quarter. Crow left the game on a cart after athletic trainers attended to him. The injury came after a rush downfield, which resulted in a heavy collision for several of the Griz.
University of Montana sophomore wide receiver, Gabe Sulser, narrowly dodges Northern Alabama's senior defensive back A.J. Bracey, while making a run downfield during the first half. Sulser rushed a net total of 22 yards to contribute to Montana's over net total rushing of 234 yards.
A University of Northern Alabama team member glances toward the score board at the end of the third quarter, as the Lions suffered a 23-point deficit.
University of Montana senior quarterback Dalton Sneed releases a pass toward a runner on the wings, managing to get around the Northern Alabama defense put up by defensive end Wallace Cowins Jr.
Northern Alabama University fans express their frustration with the referee over a perceived unfair call near the end the game. Though University of Montana Head Coach Bobby Hauck sent his compliments to the Lions for their respect and dignity through a big loss, the fans had to be spoken to several times for being disrespectful.
The University of Montana student section during the second quarter. Though the game lasted just over three and a half hours, the student section remained strong until the end. Holes in the crowd appeared toward the end of the game.