The cold weather didn't stop more than 24,000 fans from coming to watch the No. 10 Grizzlies take on Eastern Washington Saturday, Oct. 26. The Grizzlies came back from an 11-point deficit in the second quarter to win with the final score of 34-17. This was Griz football’s 600th win in team history.
Starting quarterback Dalton Sneed was inactive for the game, which meant it was time for redshirt junior Cam Humphrey to get the start. Humphrey showed his athleticism many times throughout the game by scrambling his way out of sticky situations. He finished the day with 176 passing yards and one touchdown.
Although Montana took the first lead of the game from a 35-yard field goal by Brandon Purdy, the Eagles scored 14 unanswered points in the second quarter to help them obtain an 11-point lead. What changed the game after being down was the perfect execution from punter Adam Wilson. He kicked the ball with perfect height and distance, allowing special teams player Garrett Graves to make a huge tackle. This set the momentum for the crowd and players for the rest of the quarter and pushed the Griz to score a touchdown with 3:54 left in the half. The score going into the break was 14-10, Eagles.
Eastern Washington started the second half with the ball and drove down far enough to make a 35-yard field goal. That was the Eagles’ last score of the game. A switch flipped for the Griz, and Montana took over the game after a 45-yard touchdown run from sophomore Marcus Knight. He finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 131 yards rushing.
“It was a big emphasis all week, you know as a running back you're always excited when you get told to run the ball. We went into the game ready to run the ball. Those 2- to 3-yard runs early in the game lead to bigger runs such as 10 to 15 yards, or maybe break one,” Knight said.
The Griz kept the scoring going with help from Adam Wilson once again. Wilson was able to place the ball on kickoff short enough to where Malik Flowers was able to recover it. This lead to another touchdown for the Griz, taking a 34-17 lead, this time with a 6-yard pass to receiver Samuel Akem with 12:02 remaining in the fourth.
“They came after us in the first half, and that was tough,” said coach Bobby Hauck. “We were down and had to fight our way back. I really like our football team’s ability to do that. I think we are a second half team, a fourth quarter team. Which is where we want to be playing our best on every given Saturday and today that's what it was.”
The team's next game will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, in Oregon. The Griz will face off against the Portland State Vikings at 3 p.m..
Photos: Grizzlies rally to overcome Eagles
The University of Montana defeated the Eastern Washington University Eagles for the first time since 2015 on Saturday, marking the team's 600th program win and sixth season victory.
The Griz started strong, scoring an initial 3 points from a kick early in the first quarter. However, the Eagles followed with a quick touchdown, putting the Griz at a deficit. This deficit continued through the first two quarters, and the Griz went into the locker room at half down 10-14.
The Eagles got the first touchdown of the second half, bringing their score to 17. It stayed there, however, as the Griz followed with a touchdown from man-of-the-match Marcus Knight. Knight scored early in the third quarter to equalize for the Griz.
A Brandon Purdy kick earned the Griz 3 more points to pull ahead, and three fourth-quarter touchdowns put Montana solidly ahead of Eastern Washington, where it stayed for the win.