Griz can't hold second half lead, lose to EWU 48-41 - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Griz can't hold second half lead, lose to EWU 48-41

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Things were looking great going into halftime for the Montana Grizzlies. Up 24-6 on the number 11th ranked Eastern Washington Eagles, the Griz were feeling good. Redshirt freshman Gresch Jensen just completed a 50 yard hail mary touchdown pass to Justin Calhoun to end the half. 

But that would be one of the last feel good moments of the evening, as Eastern Washington scored 42 points in the second half to escape Missoula with the comeback win, 48-41. 

EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud threw for a school record 549 yards and four touchdowns, as well as 49 yards on the ground and a score to lead the Eastern comeback. He connected with Nic Slendorio 18 times for 189 yards and a score.

Montana jumped out of the gates early. Jensen got things going with a deep ball to Keenan Curran for 66 yards, which set up a 2 yard touchdown run for the freshman from Auburn, Washington. The next Eastern drive, Griz defensive end Tucker Scheye forced Gubrud to fumble, and Jeremy Calhoun finished off the drive with a 2 yard run. Suddenly, Montana was up 14-3. 

Coming into the second half though, the Eagles turned up the tempo. Gubrud hit Sam McPhearson for a two yard touchdown throw on their first drive of the second half, and after a quick three and out by Montana, Eastern scored again, this time with Dorton and Gubrud connecting from 32 yards out. 

The Griz second drive of the second half, Jensen made one of his very few mistakes tonight, throwing an interception to Josh Lewis. The very next play after the turnover, McPhearson took a short pass from Gubrud 50 yards to the house. Suddenly, it was a tied ball game in Missoula.

Jensen got Montana the lead briefly, leading a drive after the interception that was capped off by Alijah Lee rumbling in from 14 yards out, but that would be the last time Montana would be up on the Eagles.

Gubrud scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper to tie the game at 34-34, hit Sblendorio for a three yard touchdown pass, and Antonie Custer carried a touchdown in from 10 yards out. 

Eastern and Montana both ended up running 96 plays on offense, but after getting four sacks in the first half, the Griz defense was mostly punchless in the second. Many players had to take a play or two off due to constant cramping. 

Jensen finished his first collegiate start 25-49 for 358 yards and two touchdowns. Samuel Akem caught his first touchdown pass of his career with 50 seconds left at the end of the game. 

Montana (2-2, 0-1) heads out on the road next week to Portland to play the Portland State Vikings. Eastern Washington (2-2, 1-0) returns home to host Sacramento State. 

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