MISSOULA, Mont. -- Sophomore Chase Reynolds and junior Marc Mariani each scored two touchdowns and Montana took advantage of five Montana State turnovers in cruising to a 35-3 football victory over its archrival on Saturday.
With the win, coupled with Eastern Washington's 33-26 upset of Weber State, the Grizzlies clinched a share of their 11th consecutive Big Sky Conference crown.
Montana and Weber State finished the regular season with 7-1 league records. Weber State gained the league's automatic bid to the Football Championship Series playoffs because of its 45-28 win over the Grizzlies in October. Montana, 11-1 overall, has won seven straight since then.
Reynolds scored on runs of 6 yards in the second quarter and 15 yards in the fourth. He finished with 115 yards on the ground, more than half of them in a 98-yard drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes in the final quarter. Mariani scored Montana's first touchdown on a 75-yard punt return. His 37-yard reception from Cole Bergquist put the Grizzlies up 21-3 late in the third quarter. He suffered an injured ankle on the play and didn't return.
Montana State (7-5, 5-3) lost three fumbles, negating a career-best 203-yard rushing game by Bobcat senior Demetrius Crawford.
South Carolina's loss to The Citadel, coupled with Georgia and Florida struggling in tight victories, was an embarrassment for the conference.
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