Grizzlies Send Aggies Back Home on the Bus 47-14
After busing over 1,200 miles all the way to Missoula for a big payday, the Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies won a little respect from Montana Grizzly football fans by scoring 14 points against a team ranked in the FCS top 10.
The 3-0 Grizzlies only allowed their starters a few series, going up 38-0 just after the first quarter before freely substituting younger players, allowing them valuable in-game playing experience.
For example, quarterback Jordan Johnson was only 3 of 6 for 59 yards and one touchdown before back-ups Shay Smithwick-Hann, and eventually Brady Gustafson, came on to finish the game.
By far the biggest surprise for Montana was the emergence of two true freshmen. Twin Falls, Idaho kicker Ben Worst nailed a 50-yard field goal, and according to post-game comments from head coach Mick Delaney, has now won the starting job from struggling Chris Lider. Worst kicked two more field goals, and consistently put the ball in the end zone on kickoffs. He, along with fellow freshman running back John Nguyen, younger brother of former Grizzly Peter Nguyen, rushed for 145 yards, averaging 6.5 per carry.
Montana compiled 390 yards of total offense against 194 for the Aggies.
Coach Delaney emptied his bench, giving almost everyone on the squad a chance to play against the over-matched Aggies.
The Grizzlies will head to Flagstaff, Arizona on Saturday, September 28 to open the Big Sky Conference season at Northern Arizona, which beat Montana in Washington-Grizzly Stadium last year.