Posted: Sep 1, 2013 12:01 AM by MTN News
MISSOULA - The Montana Grizzlies have waited nine months to get the bad taste of last year out of their mouths. Saturday night, they did that, and the some.
Montana's defense stifled perennial power Appalachian State, holding the Mountaineers to just 6 points in a 30-6 win in both teams' season opener.
The Griz forced two turnovers and blocked a punt, holding App St without a touchdown for the first time since they were shut out, 24-0, at LSU in 2005.
One of the key moments came late in the third quarter. App State QB Kameron Bryant, who replaced injured starter Jamal Londry-Jackson late in the first half, took off on a QB draw inside the red zone but fumbled the ball after a hard hit from Matt Hermanson. Griz safety Bo Tully recovered the ball before it went out of bounds at the two-yard line, keeping the score 16-6 at the time. The Griz then gained 31 yards and punted the ball inside the Mountaineer 10-yard line, flipping the field position. Bryant threw an interception on the very next play.
UM QB Jordan Johnson completed his first twelve passes on his way to a 19-23 night for 251 yards and two touchdowns in his first game since 2011. He missed all of 2012 due to personal reasons.
Johnson got the scoring started in the first quarter with a six-yard TD pass to Ellis Henderson. Travon Van then scored his first touchdown as a Montana Grizzly from two yards out late in the quarter to give the Griz a 13-0 lead.
Van, a transfer from Marshall, impressed in his debut with 118 yards on 20 carries.
Jordan Canada also gained over 100 yards in the game - 112 on 25 carries - and scored his first touchdown of the season early in the 4th quarter.
Montana gained 497 total yards. App State had 328.