MACOMB, Ill. – Everything seemed to be working for the Montana Grizzlies after the first two minutes.
They watched Western Illinois take a 14-0 lead on their first two passes of the game, but then the Griz returned a kickoff for a touchdown and eventually took the lead late the in the first quarter. At one point, they actually outscored the Leathernecks 27-3.
But it all caved in over the final five minutes, leaving Griz players and coaches to do nothing but look ahead.
“When you care about something, it’s going to hurt,” said head coach Bobby Hauck, “and I think our guys care. They’re going to be licking their wounds a little bit, and what we said in the locker room is, ‘We need to be ready to go Monday.’ We start conference play this week, and it’s time for the Griz to rise up.”
After media interviews and a locker room speech, Hauck was the most positive member of the team leaving the stadium Saturday night. So the Griz get up off the deck, put the pieces back together, and head home for Dave Dickenson Hall of Fame weekend Saturday in Missoula. Montana hosts Sacramento State at 1 p.m.