It's a rare occasion when it happens. And for some people in the state of Montana, seeing the Griz lose to a lesser opponent, at home, is rare. Today, on homecoming no less, the Portland State Vikings, losers of their last 13 Big Sky Conference games, shock the Montana Grizzlies 22-20.
Cody Williams made a 52-yard field goal with four seconds left to lift the Vikings to the victory, giving the team their first win in Washington-Grizzly Stadium in program history.
Montana fumbled on the first play of the game, which allowed the Vikings to score early after Davis Alexander punched it in from one yard out. On the next Montana possession, the Vikings blocked Eric Williams' punt attempt, which turned into three points for Portland State. Dalton Sneed was ineffective for most of the first half, and at one point, was benched for a series in place of Cam Humphrey by the coaching staff.
The road team carried a 13-0 lead into the halftime, silencing the home crowd, excited and packed for homecoming.
In the second half, the Grizzly offense came out hot. Sneed led a strong drive for the Griz, capping off with an Adam Eastwood 13-yard touchdown run. At the end of the third quarter, Sneed had his best throw of the day, and he hit Samori Toure on a 41-yard touchdown throw, to give the Griz their first lead of the game 14-13.
But Portland State, who had only beaten the College of Idaho in the last two seasons, was game for a fight in the second half. Their offense responded to the Griz score, with a Sirego Hoffman one yard run to give the Vikings a 19-14 lead. Portland State missed their two-point conversion attempt.
Montana marched down the field on the ensuing drive, and it was Eastwood again, scoring this time from 3-yard run. But on the two-point conversion attempt, Tim Semenza was tackled on a trick play, and Montana had a 20-19 lead.
Portland State looked like they gave the game back to Montana. Dante Olson forced a fumble on the next Viking drive. But the Griz gave the ball right back to the Vikings. On third and three in Viking territory, Keenan Curran fumbled trying for extra yardage, and that would give the Vikings a chance.
Cody Williams hit a 52-yard field goal with four seconds left, and the Vikings pulled off the upset.
Montana will have to regroup quickly, as they hit the road on one of the toughest road trips in the entire Big Sky Conference, as the team travels to North Dakota to play the Fighting Hawks.