MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Marcus Welknel blocked a field goal attempt with 3:06 to play, Justin Ford returned an interception for a touchdown and Montana escaped with a 20-19 win over Southern Utah on Saturday.
The underdog Thunderbirds led most of the way, answering quickly each time the Grizzlies grabbed a lead after a missed extra point put Southern Utah’s early lead at 9-0.
Montana (6-2, 3-2 Big Sky Conference), ranked No. 11 in the FCS coaches poll, capped the scoring with a 30-yard Kevin Macias field goal early in the fourth quarter. This time Southern Utah (1-8, 0-6) didn’t answer, even though the Grizzlies gave the Thunderbirds chances with an interception and fumble.
Ford’s pick-6, his sixth-straight game with an interception, gave Montana a 10-9 lead but a 60-yard connection from Justin Miller to Brandon Schenks made it 16-10 for the Thunderbirds at the half.
In the third quarter, the Griz scored on a 24-yard pass from Kris Brown to Cole Grossman but Southern Utah responded with a long drive and a 30-yard field goal.
Montana had four turnovers and 12 penalties for 125 yards. Veteran quarterback Cam Humphrey, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, returned on the third UM possession and finished out the first half. He did not not play in the second half after reinjuring the ankle.
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