BOZEMAN — Montana State scored 35 second-half points, including 28 in the fourth quarter, to rally past Northern Arizona 49-31 on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium.
Travis Jonsen had 141 total yards, 105 of those on the ground, and two touchdowns to lead MSU’s second-half charge. Jonsen scored the Bobcats’ first points on a 14-yard rush in the second quarter, then added a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth during Montana State’s rout of the Lumberjacks.
Shane Perry added two rushing touchdowns of his own, as Montana State’s defense allowed only three points in the second half, after trailing 28-14 at intermission. MSU forced two turnovers in the fourth quarter, a JoJo Henderson forced fumble on a kickoff that led to Perry’s first touchdown, then Amande Williams intercepted NAU QB Case Cookus, allowing Perry to cross the goal line again less than five minutes later.
Jonsen rushed 13 times for the 105 yards, but also caught a team-high five passes for 36 yards. He also added a key tackle on special teams. Logan Jones and Perry added 141 rushing yards in the win.
MSU’s defense, which had its back against the wall following a pair of Bobcats’ turnovers in the first half, each which led to points, gave up just over 100 yards in the second half after the Lumberjacks totaled just shy of 300 in the first two periods.
Jahque Alleyne led the way with eight tackles for MSU, which also got six tackles from Nolan Askelson, Brayden Konkol and Williams.
TURNING POINT: The halftime adjustments by Kane Ioane and the Montana State defense. After giving up nearly 300 yards of offense and 28 points in the first half, MSU's defense buckled down, allowing only eight first downs and three points in the second half.
STAT OF THE GAME: Montana State’s 340 net rushing yards. One week after having three players rush for more than 100 yards each, the Bobcats again found success on the ground, with the offensive line leading the way. MSU also had 17 first downs after halftime, 12 of those coming on the ground.
GAME BALLS: Jonsen, Padmos and MSU’s second-half defense. It seemed every time Jonsen touched the ball on offense, success followed. The receiver took numerous snaps in the wildcat formation, fighting for extra yards and keeping Montana State’s offense moving. Padmos was again fantastic punting the football, twice landing inside the 5-yard line, averaging 47.9 yards per punt with four sailing beyond 50 yards.
WHAT’S NEXT: Montana State (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Big Sky Conference play) travels to Cal Poly for a Saturday, Oct. 5 contest against the Mustangs (2-2, 1-0). Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. MDT. Northern Arizona (2-3, 0-1) returns to Flagstaff and hosts Northern Colorado (1-4, 1-0).