BILLINGS — All the focus was on Russell Wilson in his return to Seattle. Bozeman native Will Dissly became a big focal point, too.
Dissly scored the Seahawks’ first touchdown of the 2022 NFL season Monday night, leaping to catch a pass from quarterback Geno Smith and then rumbling untouched for a 38-yard score to set the tone for a 17-16 victory over Wilson and the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field in Seattle.
FIRST DRIVE. FIRST TOUCHDOWN!— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 13, 2022
📺 #DENvsSEA on @ESPN pic.twitter.com/KOXXt2eewE
In an added Treasure State twist, Smith evaded pressure from blitzing Montana State alum Alex Singleton on the play, stepped up and away from trouble and lofted the pass to Dissly, who caught it at the 23-yard line. The 265-pound tight end ran the rest of the way to the end zone, giving Seattle a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
It was Dissly’s 10th career touchdown reception. The 2014 graduate of Bozeman High School finished the game with three catches for 43 yards.
Dissly is in his fifth season with the Seahawks. He signed a three-year $24 million contract extension with the team during the offseason.
After being picked in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the former University of Washington player caught his first career touchdown against the Broncos in the season opener that year, and caught another one the following week against Chicago. But Dissly suffered a knee injury in Week 4 and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve.
In 2019, Dissly tore an Achilles tendon in Week 6 and missed the remainder of that season, too.
Dissly remained in the lineup the past two seasons and is off to a strong start in 2022. On Monday he helped the Seahawks beat the favored Broncos and Wilson, their new quarterback who was traded from Seattle in the offseason after 10 seasons, eight playoff appearances and a win in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Wilson completed 29 of 42 passes for 340 yards and a touchdown.
Dissly and fellow Seahawks tight end Colby Parkinson each caught a touchdown pass from Smith, who was 23 of 28 for 195 yards. Seattle held on to win as Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was wide left on a 64-yard field goal attempt with 20 seconds left.