DAVIS, Calif. — Clifton McDowell threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns and Montana's defense recovered a fumble deep in its own territory late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 31-23 road victory over UC Davis on Saturday.
McDowell, a transfer from Central Arkansas, played the full game at quarterback for the first time this season and connected with Aaron Fontes for two touchdowns and Keelan White for another. McDowell also rushed for 49 yards.
Fontes' first touchdown catch was a highlight-reel grab, during which he dove, bobbled the ball and secured it just before sliding out of the end zone. That score put Montana ahead 14-13 in the second quarter.
With UC Davis pushing for the potential tying points, defensive back Ryder Meyer forced a fumble from receiver Andre Crump Jr. and recovered it on the 10-yard line to preserve the win.
The game's biggest offensive play was made by Griz running back Eli Gillman, who broke off an 85-yard touchdown run to give Montana a 28-20 lead with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies' defense limited UC Davis and All-Big Sky quarterback Miles Hastings to just three second-half points to extend their advantage in the all-time series with the Aggies to 9-1.
The No. 17-ranked Grizzlies improved to 5-1 overall and to 2-1 in conference play while No. 20 UC Davis fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big Sky.For full game highlights, see the video above.