BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State Bobcats defeated the Montana Grizzlies 31-23 to win the 117th Brawl of the Wild. It's the first time since 2005 that the Cats won a game against the Griz in Bozeman.
The Bobcats ran for 322 yards on the ground, making it the second consecutive year that they have put up over 250 yards of rushing on Montana's defense. Cats sophomore quarterback Chris Murray accounted for 133 yards of that total, as well as throwing the ball for 98 yards.
The Griz took an initial 3-0 lead, but would never lead in the game again after Bobcat freshman running back Troy Anderson capped a 4 minute drive with a two yard touchdown run. The Griz trailed by as many as 15 points in the game, but could never recover. Anderson would finish his first ever Brawl of the Wild game with two touchdowns and 65 yards on the ground.
Montana State's Nick LaSane had the longest scoring play of the day in the second quarter with a 71-yard run. The senior on senior day ran the ball 14 times for 123 yards.
Murray gave the Cats their commanding lead in the fourth quarter, when he capped off a long drive with a two yard touchdown run, giving the Cats a 15 point lead.
The Griz fought their way back into the ball game in the fourth, but came up short in the comeback. Montana freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen hit Keenan Curran for a 32 yard touchdown pass with 5:25 left in the game. But after forcing Montana State into a 3 and out, Jensen fumbled on the second play of the drive when he attempted to throw it.
Montana would eventually get the ball back with 1:15 left in the game, down 8 points, needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to force overtime. But the drive stalled on 4th down, when Jensen's pass was batted down with 11 seconds remaining on the Bobcat 32 yard line.
The Bobcats now have their first winning streak in the series since 2002-2003, and finish their season at 5-6 (5-3), and will miss the FCS Playoffs. Montana finishes their regular season at 7-4, and 5-3 overall in conference play. There is a slim chance that the Griz might sneak into the playoffs, but their resume might hold them back, as they have no quality wins on their schedule.