Rapid Reaction: James Madison 28, Montana 6

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 05:46:21-05

HARRISONBURG, Va. — The James Madison offense scored a touchdown in each quarter and Montana couldn't muster any offense of its own as the No. 3 seed Dukes trounced the No. 6 Grizzlies 28-6 in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs on Friday.

Injuries were the name of the game for Montana, as wide receiver Samuel Akem left with an upper-body injury after his first reception of the game, and then quarterback Cam Humphrey went down on a big hit after a third-down scramble in the second quarter.

Photos: Montana Grizzlies fall to James Madison in FCS quarterfinals

Freshman quarterback Kris Brown briefly filled in for Humphrey before sophomore Robbie Patterson took over in the second half. Patterson rushed for 55 yards and threw two interceptions.

Kicker Kevin Macias accounted for all of Montana's scoring, going 2-for-2 on field goals, the first of which was a season-long 51 yards.

Cole Johnson threw two touchdowns for the Dukes, connecting with Devin Ravenel and Kris Thornton. Latrele Palmer and Lorenzo Bryant, Jr. added rushing touchdowns for JMU.

TURNING POINT: Humphrey's injury in the second quarter. Montana faced a tall task scoring against JMU's stout defense anyway, but Humphrey's injury added to the deflation of losing Akem early. The Grizzlies never found the end zone.

STAT OF THE GAME: Total yards. Coming into the game, Montana was 0-2 when its defense gave up 300 yards. JMU had 310 total yards by halftime, and that was plenty

GAME BALLS: JMU's Cole Johnson and Kelvin Azanama. Johnson, a redshirt senior, threw for two touchdowns and 295 yards. Azanama led JMU's swarming defense with 13 total tackles (two solo).

WHAT'S NEXT: Montana ends its season at 10-3 with a second straight FCS quarterfinal loss (excluding the spring 2021 season). James Madison will advance to play the winner of Saturday’s game between North Dakota State (11-1) and East Tennessee State (11-1).