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Rapid reaction: Montana State Bobcats 56, Norfolk State Spartans 21

Montana State 56, Norfolk State 21
Posted at 4:08 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 18:08:37-04

BOZEMAN -- In his first start of the 2019 season, Tucker Rovig threw four touchdown passes in helping Montana State to a 56-21 win over Norfolk State at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.

Rovig started over Casey Bauman, who had started MSU's first three games of the season, and completed his first three attempts of the game. He finished 21-of-27 passing for 221 yards and the four TDs, throwing scoring passes to Coy Steel (two), Travis Jonsen and Kevin Kassis. Logan Jones, Shane Perry and Lane Sumner handled the bulk of the Bobcats' rushing load with Isaiah Ifanse missing the game, combining for 31 carries and 325 yards. Jones and Sumner each had two rushing TDs on the day.

TURNING POINT: Jones' second touchdown late in the first quarter. His first TD tied the game at 7-7 and his second, which came off a Norfolk State turnover, gave MSU a lead it would never relinquish. Michael Jobman forced a fumble Amandre Williams recovered to give the Bobcat offense a short field. Jones capitalized, gaining 36 yards on the first play of the drive and then punching in a 4-yard touchdown on the second.

STAT OF THE GAME: Total offense. Montana State had 670 yards of offense. Rovig was solid in the passing game, but the Bobcats dominated on the ground. Three backs -- Jones, Perry and Sumner -- each finished with more than 100 yards as MSU ran for 449 yards on the ground.

GAME BALLS: Rovig, Jones and Bryce Sterk. Rovig gave the MSU offense the passing spark it needed, and Jones made the most of his seven carries. Sterk, meanwhile, has entered into the Buck Buchanan Award conversation, and he had another big game Saturday with 3.5 sacks, five tackles-for-loss and 10 total tackles.

WHAT’S NEXT: Montana State (3-1) starts Big Sky Conference play, hosting Northern Arizona (2-1) at Bobcat Stadium on Sept. 28. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Bobcats and Lumberjacks haven't met since 2017, a 37-36 NAU win in Flagstaff.