Griz send senior class out with home victory, thrash UNC 44-14 - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Griz send senior class out with home victory, thrash UNC 44-14

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It was important for the Montana Grizzlies to send their seniors out with a victory. For a class that has been part of the ups and downs that the Montana program has gone through in the past couple of years, getting a win in their last regular season game in Washington-Grizzly was preached all week. 

The Griz beat Northern Colorado 44-14 in a game that wasn't even that close. The Griz pulled their starters after two series in the second half, and coasted the rest of the way to the victory. 

Freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen returned after missing last week against NAU from concussion, and was efficient throughout the game. He finished his day 17-25 for 228 yards, three touchdowns through the air, and one touchdown on the ground to open up the scoring. 

Jensen said after the game that he was anxious to get back out on the field with his teammates after missing last week, and it showed early when he ran a score in on the opening drive of the game. He then found MaKena Simis, last week's quarterback, in the corner of the endzone from six yards out to put the Griz up 14-7.

Then the clock turned to the second quarter, and the game was quickly over. Jensen found Samari Toure over the middle for the 24 yard touchdown pass. Toure made a leaping catch in the back middle of the endzone, and out jumped his defender for the spectacular play. 

Northern Colorado would then proceed to throw three interceptions and have a punt blocked in their next four drives, which led to 13 points scored by Montana. Brandon Purdy kicked three field goals in the half from 27,24, and 47 yards out to close the half, with the Griz suddenly up 37-7.

Jensen and the first team offense came back out after half, and on their first drive of the game, scored. Jensen hit Justin Calhoun in perfect stride, and the sophomore wide receiver did the rest has the ran it in from 56 yards out. After that, the Griz first team offense was done for the day.

Stars of the game did not only shine on the offensive side of the ball. The Griz defense forced an astounding seven turnovers on the day, including five interceptions and two forced fumbles. Interceptions came from Evan Epperly, Ryan McKinley, Josh Buss, Korey Alexander, and Dareon Nash. 

The Griz move to 7-3 on the year, and 5-2 in conference. The Northern Colorado Bears move to 2-7 overall, and 1-6 in conference play. 

In the words of Bob Stitt, next week is the Montana Super Bowl, as the 119th Brawl of the Wild Game will be played in Bozeman between Montana and Montana State. The Cats upset the Griz last year in Missoula. That game is scheduled for this coming Saturday, with kickoff at noon.

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