MISSOULA -- Dalton Sneed threw four touchdown passes, Marcus Knight rushed for 148 yards and a score, and the Montana Grizzlies tallied 579 yards of offense in a 47-27 win over the Monmouth Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Sneed completed 30 of 40 passes for 334 yards, tossing two touchdowns to tight end Bryson Deming as Montana pulled away late in the fourth quarter. Deming caught four passes for 46 yards, Colin Bingham added a pair of receiving touchdowns, one thrown by receiver Samori Toure, and Montana scored touchdowns on all four of its redzone trips.
The Grizzlies saw another standout performance from defenders Dante Olson and Robby Hauck. Olson recorded 13 tackles, 2.5 for loss, and a sack while Hauck added 12 tackles. Dareon Nash and Nash Fouch intercepted Hawks' quarterback Kenji Bahar, who threw for nearly 400 yards in the defeat. Monmouth came to within 33-27 with 11:32 remaining, but Sneed orchestrated scoring drives on Montana's ensuing two drives to put the game out of reach.
TURNING POINT: Nash's interception midway through the fourth quarter. After Sneed and Jerry Louie-McGee hooked up for a 5-yard touchdown to give Montana a 41-27 lead, Nash intercepted Bahar just outside of the goal line to stop a potential scoring drive by the Hawks. UM's offense responded with a nine-play, 92-yard drive with Sneed finding Deming to cap the scoring.
STAT OF THE GAME: Third downs. Montana's offense was consistently successful on third down, converting seven of 11 attempts to keep drives along. On the flip side, the Grizzlies' defense limited Monmouth to just 4-of-16 conversions, with two turnovers on third down plays.
GAME BALLS: Sneed, Knight and Malik Flowers. Sneed again showcased Montana's high-powered potential, completing passes to eight different receivers on the afternoon. Knight and the Griz offensive line moved the chains in the ground game, something coach Bobby Hauck and the staff have stressed this season. His 5-yard touchdown in the third put UM ahead 33-14. Flowers returned a second-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, the longest kick return in UM's modern era, surpassing Damon Boddie's 99-yard return for a touchdown in 1993. Flowers' return was the longest for the Grizzlies since Milt Popovich's 102-yard return in 1936.
WHAT’S NEXT: No. 19 Montana (3-1) travels to California to open conference play against No. 4 UC Davis (2-2), which fell to No. 1 North Dakota State 20-16 on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MDT.