(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN — Isaiah Ifanse rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns as Montana State powered past visiting Cal Poly on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium, 49-42.
In front of a crowd of 16,747, MSU opened the scoring on a shuffle pass from Travis Jonsen to Logan Jones. Moments later, Ifanse got in the end zone for the first time on a 74-yard sprint. Jonsen, who lined up at wide receiver on the play, contributed a key down-field block to ensure Ifanse would not be touched. By the end of the first quarter, Ifanse had 122 yards, on his way to 161 at halftime.
Joe Protheroe, who totaled 215 yards on 36 carries for Cal Poly scored after Ifanse, but Troy Andersen answered with a 51-yard run, reaching the end zone untouched thanks to another key block by Jonsen. After Protheroe cut the lead to 21-14, Jonsen himself scampered in from 3 yards out to give the Bobcats (5-4 overall, 3-3 Big Sky) a 28-14 halftime lead.
The second half was more of the same. Back-to-back scores by Ifanse (the first covering 29 yards, the second 28 yards) stretched the lead to 42-14 as the Mustangs (3-6, 2-4) lost two fumbles in the third quarter, the first recovered by MSU’s Dante Sparaco and the second by Kyle Finch.
Ifanse’s output easily surpassed the MSU freshman record of 192 yards set by Aaron Mason back in 2006 at Northern Arizona. Ifanse reached his total on 22 carries.
Khaleel Jenkins found Malcolm Davis for a touchdown to make it 42-21 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Jenkins, who ran for a season-high 138 yards on 30 carries, found the end zone. Andersen, who missed time with a lower leg injury in the third quarter, came back with a 49-yard scoring run to push the score to 49-28. Andersen finished the day with 104 yards on just seven carries, in addition to completing seven of 10 passes for 54 yards.
Two late touchdowns by Jenkins accounted for the final score. Overall, Cal Poly rushed for 369 yards (461 overall) while the Bobcats totaled 430 on the ground and 507 overall. The Bobcats averaged 8.9 yards per play.
Defensively, the Bobcats were led by Brayden Konkol’s 14 tackles while Grant Collins added 10 of his own.
MSU’s final home game is this week: Seniors Day against Northern Colorado (2-8 overall). Cal Poly plays host to Idaho State.