BOZEMAN - The Montana State Bobcats clawed their way to their seventh straight victory this season after defeating the Idaho State Bengals 27-9 on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
"[Idaho State] They're extremely dangerous and we said it all week," Cats Head Football Coach, Brent Vigen said in his postgame press conference. "They showed up, they did some things today that caused us some problems. We were down a couple guys, we had guys step up and to open that lead up and get it to 27-9 to ultimately come out with a win heading into the bye week, proud of the guys for sure today."
Points were at a premium in the first half between the Bobcats and the Bengals.
Turnovers helped keep the scoring down in the first half after Idaho State fumbled on their first possession, followed by a Matthew McKay fumble on the ensuing Montana State possession.
A David Allish field goal with 2:39 remaining in the 1st quarter gave the Bengals a 3-0 lead, but a Blake Glessner 55-yard field goal at the beginning of the 2nd quarter tied the game. Isaiah Ifanse then scored the first touchdown of the day, giving the Cats a 10-3 lead at halftime.
"He's a huge luxury," Vigen smiled and said. "A guy that takes more than one guy to bring down - that's what you look for in that position. The first guy rarely gets him down, he's going to keep his feet going, he's got an opportunity to get out in space and make the most of it. We would be in tough shape if we didn't have his 165 yards today I know that."
"As a running back, we were just seeing the holes better," Ifanse said. "I know in the Weber game there were a couple that we missed that could've been big gains so that's what we spent a lot of time on this week."
McKay would throw for two touchdowns in the second half, one to Lance McCutcheon and the other to Willie Patterson. Idaho State would add two field goals in the second half as the Cats' defense was able to keep the Bengals' offense out of the end zone.
"We knew coming in that Idaho State was going to be a physical team wanting to run the ball, we trust that we're a well-conditioned group, we're a physical group and we knew if we stuck to the game plan continuing to execute play after play it would be a good result for us," Senior Defensive End, Amandre Williams said.
Ifanse rushed for 165 yards on 17 attempts and a touchdown. McKay finished the afternoon 10-21, 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Cats have a bye before facing their biggest opponent to date in Cheney, Eastern Washington on Saturday, November 6 at 2 p.m.