Passing game carries Montana past PSU
Montana's passing game took the air out of Portland State's football playoff aspirations on Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.
Grizzlies' quarterback Cam Humphrey threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns as No. 8-ranked Montana surged in the second half to beat the Vikings 38-23.
Montana improves to 7-2, 4-1 in the Big Sky Conference. Losing at home for the first time this season, Portland State falls to 5-5 and 3-3.
Samori Toure caught seven passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns and Samuel Akem turned three catches into 104 yards and a touchdown as the Montana passing game kept the Vikings in chase mode the entire second half.
Without running back Sirgeo Hoffman, the PSU running game gained only 78 yards and netted only 43 after five quarterback sacks. Hoffman had run for 361 yards over the previous two games but was unavailable due to injury.
Vikings quarterback Davis Alexander completed 20 of 39 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice.
Portland State capitalized on two first-half turnovers to lead 17-14 at halftime.
Davis Alexander ran six yards for the Vikings' first touchdown after a muffed punt set them up at the Grizzlies 10. The second touchdown came just before halftime on a deep pass that followed a sack-fumble that gave PSU the ball at the Montana 40.
Montana took a 14-7 lead on a 41-yard catch and run by Samori Toure 5:22 before halftime. On a third-and-6 play, Toure bounced off a pair of Vikings and dashed to the end zone.
But Portland State responded with a 10-play drive to the Montana 30 and Cody Williams kicked a 47-yard field goal.
The Vikings then forced their second takeaway of the day when Montana Humphrey was sacked by Shawn Richard and Dylan Hanley recovered the fumble at the Griz 40.
On a third-and-10, Alexander hooked up with Mataio Talalemotu that gave the Vikings a 17-14 halftime lead despite being outgained 245-148.
Talalemotu finished with five catches for 109 yards.
Montana moved 84 yards on four plays with its first possession of the second half, regaining the lead on a 42-yard Humphrey-to-Toure connection.
Toure's third TD midway through the third quarter made it 28-17 and
PSU pulled within 28-24 on a 9-yard pass from Alexander to Davis Koetter with 28 seconds left in the third quarter. But a 76-yard pass from Humphrey to Akem 10 seconds into the fourth quarter gave Montana a two-score cushion and the Grizzlies kept the Vikings off the board in the fourth quarter.
Portland State plays its final home game of the season at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.
Then, after a bye week, the Vikings close the season on Nov. 23 at Eastern Washington.
MONTANA 38, PORTLAND STATE 23
Montana 7 7 14 10—38
Port. St. 0 17 6 0—23
Mont — Marcus Knight 45 run (Brandon Purdy kick), 9:54
PSU — Davis Alexander 6 run (Cody Williams kick), 14:56
Mont — Samori Toure 41 pass from Cam Humphrey (Purdy kick), 5:22
PSU — Williams 47 FG, 1:42
PSU — Mataio Talalemotu 40 pass from Alexander (Williams kick), 0:19
Mont — Touri 42 pass from Humphrey (Purdy kick), 11:19
Mont — Touri 6 pass from Humphrey (Purdy kick), 7:01
PSU — Davis Koetter 9 pass from Alexander (pass failed), 0:28
Mont — Samuel Akem 76 pass from Humphrey (Purdy kick), 14:50
Mont — Purdy 33 FG, 4:05
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