Griz improve to 9-2 overall with 42-6 win over Wildcats on Senior Day
Nov. 16, 2013
Jordan Canada rushed for a career-high 189 yards and the defense was stellar in all phases, as the #7-University of Montana Grizzlies defeated the visiting Weber State Wildcats 42-6 Saturday afternoon in a Big Sky Conference game in UM's Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
The Grizzlies have now won six of their last seven games and improved to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference on "Senior Day," as UM recognized its 13 senior players prior to the game.
It was the Wildcats' 10th loss in a row, as they go to 1-10 and 0-7.
Canada rushed 24 times for his 189 yards, which is the 12th most rushing yards in single-game history at UM. He carried 13 times for a whopping 142 yards in the second half, and he also had two touchdown runs. As a team, the Grizzlies rushed 60 times for 338 yards and 5 TDs.
Canada had an 80-yard run for a TD with 8:57 to go in the third quarter, and that score gave UM a 21-6 lead and started the Grizzlies on their way to a lop-sided victory. His 80-yard carry tied him with five other players for the longest run in school history.
Montana's defense was equally impressive in the second half as Canada was, holding Weber State to just four total yards (and four first downs) on 20 plays - which averages out to 0.2 yards a play.
For the game, the Wildcats finished with 202 total yards and 10 first downs. The Grizzlies picked up 461 yards and 23 first downs.
The Griz "D" has now not allowed a touchdown in the last one-and-a-half games, dating back to last Saturday's contest at South Dakota.
The Griz defense not only kept the Cats out of the end zone, but it registered five sacks, and held WSU to 6 net yards rushing on 27 attempts, and just two first downs via the ground game.
Montana dominated the time of possession thanks to its strong running game in the second half, when it gained 255 rushing yards for four TDs on 42 carries, and kept the ball 19:39 in the last 30 minutes of the contest.
True freshman halfback John Nguyen rushed 18 times for 81 yards and a score, while senior Marlon Miles picked up 48 yards on 11 totes, and scored UM's final TD on a 3-yard run -- his first career touchdown.
Junior quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann scored on a 16-yard run with 5:21 left in the third quarter, as the Griz took a 28-6 lead. The Griz scored two more unanswered rushing touchdowns in the final quarter, the first one was a 3-yard run by Canada, and the second was Miles' 3-yarder, which came with 10:13 left to play and gave Montana a 42-6 lead.
Despite forcing three Weber State turnovers in the first half, Montana led just 14-6 at halftime.
The Griz took an early 7-0 lead on a 5-yard TD pass from junior QB Jordan Johnson to senior wide receiver Cam Warren with 5:44 left in the first quarter. That score was set up on an interception by senior linebacker John (J.P.) Kanongata'a, which gave UM the ball on WSU's 18-yard line.
Weber State's first score game on a 21-yard field goal senior kicker Shaun McClain, cutting the Griz lead to 7-3 with 13:38 to go in the second quarter. The Griz scored on their next possession, though, and a 2-yard touchdown run by Nguyen gave his team a 14-3 lead with 9:56 left until halftime. The Wildcats scored their final points of the game as time expired in the first half on a 48-yard field goal by McClain.
Junior end Zack Wagenman led the Griz with 9 tackles, and he also had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Kanongata'a had 8 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a forced fumble, and an interception.
Senior linebacker Jordan Tripp had a fumble recovery and an interception. UM senior defensive tackle Alex Bienemann had his first career interception. Tripp now has the school record with 10 career fumble recoveries.
Canada now has 2,053 career rushing yards, which moves him up to fifth all-time, as he passes Steve Caputo (2,033 yards, 1969-71). He is the sixth running back in UM history to rush for more than 2,000 career yards.
Canada's two touchdown runs gives him 14 this year, which ties him for the seventh most in a season with current Griz running backs coach Justin Green (14, 2003) and former quarterback Dave Dickenson (14, 1993).
Johnson, who did not play in the second half because of an undisclosed injury, was 11-of-21-0 for 118 yards and a TD. Warren had 5 catches for 67 yards and a score.
WSU freshman quarterback Austin Chipoletti was 18of-36-3 for 185 yards. Wildcat linebackers Anthony Morales and Roman Valenzuela had a game-high 13 tackles each.
Montana is at 8th-ranked Montana State Saturday, Nov. 23, for the 113th meeting between the Griz & Cats in the long-time intrastate rivalry. WSU hosts Idaho State next Saturday.
Note: The winning Split the Pot number at Saturday's game was 199428. The winner, from Laurel, claimed a pot of $6,653.
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