Montana State has a 31-7 lead at halftime thanks to rushing attack, Montana miscues | Federal State

A strong Cats rushing attack and numerous Griz miscues propelled No. 3 Montana State to the top of No. 13 Montana 31-7 in the first half of the Brawl of the Wild at Bobcat Stadium.

The Bobcat offensive did its damage on the ground, rushing 267 yards 36 on attempts. Quarterback Tommy Mellott alone had 119 rushing yards in the first half. As for airplay, Mellott has only two completions for 39 yards on four tries.

Three of the Cats’ four touchdowns came from quarterback keepers; the other came from a defensive fumble recovery in the end zone.

Montana State drove 75 yards in two and a half minutes on its opening drive and capped it off with a short touchdown run from Mellott in the gut.

In response, it took Montana 10 games to find the end zone on their first drive of the game when Malik Flowers clinched a 30-yard shot from Lucas Johnson amid tight coverage.

Montana State then made it a third straight drive with a touchdown and finished again on a 75-yard drive with a Tommy Mellott rushing score, this time from 12 yards.

The most dominant game of the first quarter, however, came to a fourth Grizzlies deficit when a punt attempt sent the ball over punter Patrick Rohrbach’s head on the long snap and sailed into the end zone, where MSU’s Jory Choate landed the free ball for a touchdown, giving the Cats their current 21-7 lead.

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This game may have reminded Bobcats fans of an earlier game this season against Weber State, where four errant long shots led the Wildcats to eight points over four safeties.

It was a similar story in the second quarter as Montana State converted a third-and-12 deep in Griz territory to keep a touchdown drive alive before Sean Chambers cleared the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1- Yard line up took a three point lead.

Later in the quarter, Johnson fumbled a handoff to Nick Ostmo at the Bobcats 3-yard on a possible touchdown drive from Griz, and MSU’s Callahan O’Reilly fell on the loose ball to keep Montana scoreless .

Montana State ended the first half with a 34-yard field goal from Blake Glessner to give the home team a 24-point lead at the break.

Montana gets the kickoff for the second half.

These teams compete in the 121st edition of Brawl of the Wild. Montana leads the perpetual streak 73-41-5.

By last season, when Montana defeated Montana State 29-10 in Missoula, the Bobcats had beaten the Grizzlies four times in a row.

Montana State is also looking to finish its regular season undefeated in FCS play and win at least a chunk of the Big Sky title while Montana hopes to secure its place in the FCS playoff field.