A star receiver stayed home. A premier offensive lineman left with what appeared to be a serious injury.

Those dark clouds were offset by a testament to the depth and talent of the Number 3 ranked University of Montana Grizzly football team. Early statements, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions and a field go on the fourth drive, set the 24-3 halftime score tone for what would be a dominant effort, as the Griz overwhelmed the Portland State Vikings 34-10 in Hillsboro, Oregon on Saturday night.

Balance was the name of the game, as the Griz executed a textbook exhibition of running and passing, spearheaded by a complete game from starting quarterback Clifton McDowell, who ran for three touchdowns. True freshman quarterback Keali'i Ah Yat made his presence felt on the last drive of the first half, taking Montana from their 8 to the Viking 8 to set up a field goal as time expired.

The start of the second half was a bit shaky, as Griz penalties ruined another promising drive. But the Montana defense stayed strong and denied the Vikings much of anything to help reboot the Montana offense. Another dominant drive made it 31-3.

A rare defensive breakdown resulted in a 64-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-10. Plenty of Montana substitutions in the fourth quarter and running lots of time off the clock was the perfect recipe to wrap this one up.

The Griz were without star receiver Aaron Fontes, who did not make the trip. Starting offensive guard Liam Brown was injured in the first half, which appeared to be serious. Here's hoping the guys are as healthy as can be at this time of the season, as the annual Brawl of the Wild against Montana State is for the Big Sky Conference championship, after the Bobcats rolled Eastern Washington earlier in the day.

What an exciting way to wrap up the regular season next Saturday...UP WITH MONTANA!

Big Sky Conference Mascots Ranked on How Easily I Could Beat Them in a Fight

I came up with a random thought the other day. "If I were to get in a fight with every mascot in the Big Sky Conference, how many of those fights could I win?" For clarification: I am fighting whatever animal/person the team's nickname is (Grizzlies, Bobcats, etc.) in a one-on-one setting. No outside weapons being used, just a classic mano e mano fight.

What I've learned is I have very little chance at winning most of these fights.

Gallery Credit: Ace Sauerwein

Stunning Photos of Yellowstone National Park in the Fall

Take a "virtual visit" to the Park in autumn. Photos courtesy of the Nationa Park System and photographer Diane Renkin.



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