Ifanse leads big-play Montana St. past E Washington 23-20

CHENEY, Wash. (AP) — Isaiah Ifanse rushed 32 times for 217 yards and a touchdown to key Montana State’s big-play offense in a 23-20 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday; a battle of Top 5 FCS teams.

Quarterback Matthew McKay scored on a 56-yard run on the Bobcats’ first possession and he found Lance McCutcheon, who made a leaping catch and then broke two tackles for a 67-yard score in the second quarter. Ifanse’s 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter was the difference.

The Bobcats (8-1, 6-0 Big Sky Conference), ranked fourth in the FCS coaches poll, piled up 544 yards, 253 from McKay’s arm on 17-of-30 passing. McCutcheon had 150 yards on five catches.

Eastern Washington (7-2, 4-2) ranked fifth, had 314 yards in losing for the second-straight game. Eric Barriere was 21 of 31 for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

The Eagles lost a touchdown that would have put them up 20-16 because of offensive pass interference. They punted the ball to the MSU 5. McKay and McCutcheon hooked up for 52 yards on the first play and Ifanse scored on the next for a 23-13 lead. Ifanse’s day gave him 1,124 yards on the season.

EWU turned the ball over on downs but McKay fumbled and the Eagles cashed in with a Dennis Merritt TD with 7:39 but their last possession was a three-and-out.

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