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Sterk, Neale among Montana State’s players of the game against Western Illinois

Posted at 8:16 PM, Sep 02, 2018

BOZEMAN — The Montana State Bobcats released the players of the game Sunday, highlighting the standout players from Thursday’s 26-23 win over Western Illinois.

On defense, Bryce Sterk and Tyrone Fa’anono took the honors, who had 14 tackles and three sacks combined. However, the statistics don’t matter as much as the timing — both guys had huge stops late in the fourth quarter to keep Montana State in contention.

On the other side of the ball, two guys from the offensive line made up the players of the game: Alex Neale at center and Mitch Brott at left tackle. In two of the most underrated positions in football, both players stepped up in big moments to create running lanes for quarterback Troy Andersen to score. They were also going up against preseason all-American Khalen Saunders of Western Illinois.

Finally, the special teams player of the game was kicker Tristan Bailey. He accounted for more than half of the Bobcats’ 26 points by kicking four field goals, including one from 50 yards and another from 47, and two point-after attempts. His final field goal with four minutes left in the game pushed the Bobcats to their first lead of the night and their eventual win.

The Bobcats will be on the road Saturday, Sept. 8 at South Dakota State. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.