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Rapid reaction: Portland State Vikings 22, No. 14 Montana Grizzlies 20

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 22:38:56-04

MISSOULA — Cody Williams hit a go-ahead 52-yard field goal with four seconds remaining as the Portland State Vikings snapped a near-two year conference losing streak with a 22-20 win over Montana on Saturday. It’s the first Big Sky Conference win for the Vikings since November 2016.

Montana quarterback Dalton Sneed fumbled the first snap of the game and Portland State jumped out to a 13-0 lead at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Griz were held to negative yardage in the opening quarter, minus-5, before finishing with 289 yards. Davis Alexander scored the first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard rush, before Williams tacked on field goals of 22 and 43 yards for the 13-0 halftime lead.

UM forced a Viking fumble on the first drive of the third quarter, leading to an Adam Eastwood score from 13 yards out. Sneed found Samori Toure on a 41-yard touchdown later in the third to put Montana ahead 14-13, then Sirgeo Hoffman and Eastwood traded touchdowns to set the score at 20-19 Montana. Eastwood finished with 14 carries for 88 yards and two scores.

Keenan Curran’s fumble set up the heroic final drive for the Vikings.

TURNING POINT: Keenan Curran’s fumble on third down in the fourth quarter. Needing 3 yards to pick up a first down with 4:04 remaining, Curran lost the ball and Sam Bodine recovered for the Vikings.

STAT OF THE GAME: Four fumbles. Montana coughed the ball up four times, losing each one, while Portland State scored at least a field goal on each ensuing drive.

GAME BALLS: Williams. With a 12-game conference losing streak on the line, the Vikings put the game in the foot of the 5-foot-10 freshman from Murrieta, California and he delivered, silencing the homecoming crowd.

WHAT’S NEXT: Montana (4-2, 2-1) returns to the road for a conference game, traveling to Grand Forks, N.D. to meet North Dakota (3-2). The Fighting Hawks had the weekend off, giving UND two weeks to prepare. Kickoff is slated for noon MST.