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Grizzly rewind: A look back at Montana's thrilling and lone meeting with Delaware in 1993 playoffs

Montana Delaware 1993.jpg
Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 27, 2023

MISSOULA — The No. 2 Montana Grizzlies (10-1) welcome the Delaware Blue Hens (9-3) to Missoula on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The two programs have met only once in their histories, and that was back on Nov. 26, 1993 when the two met in the first round of the Division I-AA playoffs in Missoula at a much different Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

In a thrilling back-and-forth game with temperatures around 8 degrees and dropping, the Blue Hens survived the trip out west to top the Griz 49-48.

The Grizzlies were led by sophomore quarterback Dave Dickenson who completed 37 of 44 passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns, while he also ran for another score.

The game was tied 28-28 heading into the fourth quarter, and Dickenson found Scott Gurnsey for a 13-yard score to give UM a 35-28 lead. A few minutes later, Delaware's Lanue Johnson scored to tie it back up at 35-all.

The final three minutes is where the game got crazy, as Dickenson threw a pass intended for Shalon Baker who dropped the ball and was leveled, but it wound up in the hands of Matt Wells who scored for the Griz to make it 42-35.

But after the ensuing kickoff, it took Delaware one play to tie it again, as they responded with a 70-yard score by Johnson to make it 42-42 with 2:24 to go.

On the following kickoff, Damon Boddie took it 80 yards to the house to give the Griz the lead again, as the teams combined for three touchdowns in four plays, but the PAT by Andy Larson was missed, so UM led 48-42.

With 55 seconds to go, Delaware QB Leo Hamlett found Keita Malloy for a 32-yard touchdown to tie the game, and the Blue Hens took the lead with the PAT. They forced the Griz into a turnover on downs on the next series, as they sealed the upset win over Montana.

Delaware would go on to lose to Marshall in the quarterfinal round of the I-AA playoffs the following week.

The teams combined for 1,091 yards of total offense in the game. Delaware alone rushed for 474 yards and completed just five passes total on the day. The two programs also totaled eight turnovers.

Wells caught 14 passes for 116 yards and a score while Gurnsey finished with six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

To see highlights from that game in 1993, check out the video above.