MISSOULA — Gabe Sulser caught a touchdown and had two huge returns on special teams to jump-start Montana to a 59-3 win over Central Washington on Saturday. It was the first game in 485 days for the Grizzlies and the first of two games this spring.
UM quarterback Cam Humphrey ran for one touchdown and threw for three, finding Sulser, Samuel Akem and Nick Ostmo for scores. Ostmo also recorded a rushing TD on Montana's opening possession.
TURNING POINT: Humphrey's 13-yard touchdown pass to Sulser on fourth down in the second quarter. Had the duo not connected, it would have been a deflating third scoreless red zone trip for Montana in the half. Instead, the Griz took a 17-3 lead and ran away with it from there.
STAT OF THE GAME: Forty-nine unanswered points. After CWU's second-quarter field goal, Montana scored seven touchdowns on seven straight possessions.
GAME BALLS: Sulser and the entire Montana defense.
Montana missed a few offensive opportunities early, but Sulser was effective at moving the ball in a variety of ways. In addition to his acrobatic touchdown reception, the junior wide receiver had a 46-yard punt return, a 54-yard kickoff return and two consequential first-down grabs in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Montana's defense forced three turnovers and held CWU without a first down for the entirety of the first quarter.
It didn't get any easier for CWU in the second half. The Grizzly defense forced a turnover on downs on CWU's first possession and subsequently scored to make it 31-3, putting the game firmly out of reach.
Gavin Robertson and David Koppang each recorded interceptions and Jacob McGourin recovered a fumble.
WHAT’S NEXT: Montana improves to 1-0 and will return to spring practice before closing out the schedule against Big Sky Conference foe Portland State on April 17. Central Washington concludes its spring season 0-1.