MISSOULA — The Montana Grizzlies (6-2, 3-2 Big Sky Conference) needed a late blocked field goal to avoid the upset against Southern Utah (1-8, 0-6) on Saturday, as the Grizzlies edged out the Thunderbirds 20-19.
Marcus Welnel blocked a Southern Utah's 35-yard field goal attempt with 3:06 left and the Grizzlies got the ball back and never let it go to hang on to the win.
The game was a wild one for the Griz, who were whistled for 12 penalties for 125 yards. The Grizzlies also turned the ball over four times, including on their second drive when the snapped ball hit Malik Flowers going in motion, and the Thunderbirds recovered it.
"That play was us today, in a nutshell," Griz head coach Bobby Hauck said after the game.
Cam Humphrey made a brief return at quarterback for Montana, joining the game on the third drive, his first action since leaving the Eastern Washington contest due to injury. Humphrey did not play in the second half due to "health reasons," according to Hauck. Running back Nick Ostmo, who has missed all season, made his debut on Saturday and ran the ball once for nine yards in the first quarter but did not return to the game after that.
Humphrey finished 10 for 14 for 86 yards while Brown was 17 for 23 for 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Junior Bergen again drew the start at running back and carried the ball 25 times for 87 yards. Grossman finished with four catches for 66 yards and touchdown while Keelan White added eight receptions for 54 yards. Samuel Akem added six catches for 54 yards and Mitch Roberts added five catches for 60 yards.
Akem moved into ninth all-time in career receiving yards with 2,423, passing Jeremy Watkins who had 2,402.
Robby Hauck led the team with 10 total tackles, bringing his career total to 313 which ties him with Colt Anderson for eighth all-time on UM's tackling list. He passed his uncle, Tim Hauck, who had 305 career tackles. Patrick O'Connell had Montana's lone sack and had two tackles for loss while Alex Gubner also had two tackles for loss. Justin Ford also grabbed his sixth interception in as many games which he took back for a 26-yard touchdown.
For full highlights from Saturday's game, check out the video above.