PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Josh Swogger passed for 203 yards and a
touchdown and Montana beat Portland State 26-20 in the Big Sky
Conference Saturday night.
The Grizzlies (3-1, 2-0) never trailed, but they had to hold off
a fourth-quarter rally by the Vikings (3-2, 2-1).
Montana, ranked fourth in NCAA Division I-AA, jumped to a 16-0
first-half lead on an interception return by Tuff Harris, an 8-yard
touchdown reception by Ryan Bagley and a safety on a botched punt
attempt by Portland State.
The 14th-ranked Vikings got back into the game behind backup
quarterback Brian White, who had practiced only one week with the
team after transferring recently from Colorado.
On his second series, White connected with Tremayne Kirkland for
a 35-yard touchdown pass that cut the Vikings' deficit to 16-7.
After a field goal by Portland State's Eric Azorr, the Grizzlies
countered with a 23-yard touchdown run by Reggie Bradshaw that
pushed the lead to 23-10 with 3:02 left in the third quarter.
Portland State responded with a length-of-the-field drive.
However, the Vikings turned the ball over when Kelena Ho'okano
fumbled the ball away at the goal line.
Two plays later, Portland State's C.J. Niusulu tackled Brady
Green in the end zone for a safety to trim Montana's lead to 23-12.
The Vikings' Kenneth Mackins returned the kickoff 80 yards for a
touchdown, and a crucial two-point pass to Matt Smith cut the
Grizzlies' advantage to 23-20 with 7:57 left.
Dan Carpenter gave the Grizzlies some cushion with a 43-yard
field goal that made it 26-20 with 4:27 left. Montana's defense
then held Portland State on the next series, and the offense ran
off enough of the clock to put the game away.
Quentin Jackson's interception of White in the final seconds
saved the win for the Grizzlies and snapped Portland State's
nine-game home winning streak.