One of the wildest endings in the the entire 118-year history of the Montana-Montana State rivalry gave MSU a historic victory Saturday in front of a record crowd at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
With Montana on the 1-yard line and nine seconds left, Montana State senior nose tackle Tucker Yates forced a fumble from Montana running back Adam Eastwood and the Bobcats recovered to escape Missoula with a wild 29-25 comeback win. The victory is Montana State’s third straight in the 118th matchup between the historic rivals, MSU’s longest streak since winning three in a row in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Montana State head coach Jeff Choate with defensive coordinator Ty Gregorak/by Brooks Nuanez
Montana State had trailed for almost the entire game before taking its first lead on a 13-yard run by Logan Jones with 2:19 left.
Montana came tantalizingly close to answering, taking the ball inside the Cats’ 10 with 45 seconds left. On third-and-goal from the 1 with 14 seconds left, Eastwood thought he had scored, but Montana State coach Jeff Choate had called timeout right before the play.
The next play, Eastwood fumble.
The loss gave Montana a three-game losing streak in the Brawl of the Wild, and gave Montana a depressing end to an up-and-down season.
As they had all year, the Grizzlies couldn’t keep a lead in the second half of a game, and struggled with turnovers.
After avoiding giveaways for the first three-and-a-half quarters of the game, the Griz had two costly fumbles in the last six minutes, Eastwood’s and one by quarterback Dalton Sneed that came right before Montana State’s go-ahead drive.
The Griz led 22-7 at halftime.
Quarterback Troy Anderson ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns for Montana State, who moves to 7-4.
Sneed threw for 354 and two scores for the Griz, which had Keenan Curran and Sammy Akem both go over 100 receiving yards.
Montana finishes the season at 6-5. Montana State went to 7-4, and should be in line for a playoff berth in the FCS.