FCS Playoffs 2011, Semifinals: Montana Falls To Sam Houston State, 31-28

The 2011 FCS Playoffs are underway and go until Jan. 7 when the championship game takes place.

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Montana Vs. Sam Houston State Final Score: Bearkats Advance To FCS Championship Game With 31-28 Victory Over Grizzlies

The No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats advanced to their first FCS Playoffs Championship Game with a 31-28 victory over the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies. The Grizzlies put up a valiant fight after being down, 28-7, in the second quarter. The Grizzlies had an opportunity to get one final scoring drive, but the Bearkats put their season on the line when they ran a play on 4th-and-1 instead of punting it. They made it, sealing the deal.

Bearkats sophomore running back Tim Flanders had a career day, piling up 194 yards and a touchdown in the first half and then finishing with 287 yards. He averaged over 10 yards per carry. His quarterback, Brian Bell, was 10-of-14 for 113 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson did his best to keep Montana in the game throwing for 277 yards and two touchdown passes. He was also the team's leading rusher with 64 yards and one touchdown. He also had a couple if fumbles that crushed Montana's momentum to score a couple of other times.

The Bearkats will play the winner of No. 3 Georgia Southern vs. No. 2 North Dakota State on Jan. 7.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Montana Vs. Sam Houston State Halftime Score: Bearkats Hold 28-14 Lead Over Grizzlies

The No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats are manhandling the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies at halftime of this 2011 FCS Playoffs semifinals matchup, 28-14, but there's still plenty of life left in the Grizzlies. Montana's Caleb McSurdy picked off Brian Bell with a bit more than a minute left in the first half and returned it for a 60-yard touchdown.

The Bearkats offense, though, has found its legs on the ground with Tim Flanders leading the attack. Flanders already has 194 of the team's 294 total yards. Flanders has scored one touchdown while quatrerback Brian Bell threw for two touchdowns and ran for the other.

As Dom Izzo of WDAY-TV in North Dakota tweeted, the Grizzlies came back from a 48-21 deficit in a 2009 game to defeat South Dakota State, 61-48. The Grizzlies are still very much alive in this game.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Montana Vs. Sam Houston State, FCS Playoffs 2011: Game Time, TV Schedule, Online Streaming And More

A trip to the 2011 FCS Championship is on the line Friday evening when the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies (11-2) head south to Huntsville, Tx., to face the No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats (13-0) in a semifinals matchup. The winner awaits whichever team emerges from the No. 3 Georgia Southern vs. No. 2 North Dakota State contest.

The Grizzlies cruised to a 48-10 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers last Friday. Quarterback Jordan Johnson threw for just 196 yards, but he had three touchdown passes and also ran for one other one. Also with his legs, Johnson was the team's leading rusher with 86 yards on 10 carries. However, against the Bearkats, the Grizzlies will need the rushing triumvirate of Jason Canada, Dan Moore and Peter Nguyen to pound the ball aplenty.

On defense, the Grizzlies will need first-team AP All-American LB Caleb McSurdy and DB Trumaine Johnson to lead the defense against a strong Bearkat offense.

The Bearkats ran wild over the Montana State Bobcats last Sunday in a 49-13 victory. The offense ran the ball 41 times for 428 yards and four touchdowns. However, second-team All-American running back Tim Flanders had just 10 carries for 38 yards. Richard Sincere led the ground attack with 11 carries for 160 yards. Quarterback Brian Bell won't be asked to pass much, most likely, but he's no slouch on the ground, either. He had a 54-yard touchdown run, aided in part by a few broken tacklers by Bobcats defenders.

The Bearkats' defense was able to stop the Bobcats from running, allowing just 77 yards on the ground. Can they stop another Montana ground game?

Game time/date: 6:00 p.m. MT, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Location: Elliott T. Bowers Stadium, Huntsville, TX.

TV/Streaming: ESPN/ESPN3

Announcers: Dave Neal, Andre Ware and Quint Kessenich

Series record: Montana leads, 3-1

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Montana State Vs. Sam Houston State Final Score: No. 1 Bearkats Run Wild Over Bobcats, 49-13

The Montana State Bobcats were unable to upset the No.1 Sam Houston State Bearkats in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs. They fell, 49-13, on Saturday afternoon.

The Bearkats were able to crush the Montana State defense by rushing for over 430 yards while the Bobcats could only crack 77 yards on the ground. The Bearkats rushing attack was led by Richard Sincere, who had 11 carries for 160 yards. Torrance Williams gained 99 yards on five yards and found the end zone twice. Quarterback Brian Bell didn't pass much, but he did throw two touchdown passes and rush for a 54-yard touchdown.

Montana State was rarely ever able to get into a rhythm. Quarterback DeNarius McGhee did throw for 267 yards and a touchdown, but it was far too little. Wide receiver Elvis Akpla had an amazing one-handed catch to highlight the game for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats finish the season with a 10-3 record. The Bearkats improve to 13-0 and will host the Montana Grizzlies in a semifinals matchup. The Bearkats last appeared in that round in 2004. The Montana Grizzlies defeated them, 34-13.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Montana State Vs. Sam Houston State Halftime Score: Bearkats Lead Bobcats, 21-6, In 2011 FCS Playoffs

The Montana State Bobcats will need to get an early start on their comeback against the No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats, as they are losing at halftime, 21-6. The Bobcats had a promising drive stall once again inside Sam Houston State territory. Quarterback DeNarius McGhee found John Ellis and Elvis Akpla on the drive and reached the SHSU 19-yard line. However, McGhee was under pressure at that point and had to throw the ball away several times.

A field goal attempts came with two seconds left, bu the Bearkats blocked Jason Cunningham's 39-yard attempt. He had missed a 46-yard field goal earlier in the quarter.

The Bearkats got their latest touchdown in a crazy fashion. Brian Bell threw a pass that Montana State tipped. It stayed up in the air and wound up in Richard Sincere's hands. He was able to break through several tackles and had a 40-yard touchdown reception to show for it.

Montana State receiver Elvis Akpla had one of the most amazing catches we'll ever see. He caught the ball one-handed, used his helmet to keep possession and then kept it in that hand and behind his back for the reception.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Northern Iowa Vs. Montana Final Score, FCS Playoffs 2011: Grizzlies Dominate Panthers In 48-10 Victory

The No. 4 Montana Grizzlies have advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs by defeating the No. 5 Northern Iowa Panthers, 48-10, on Friday evening. After going down by seven to start the game, the Grizzlies came back to outscore the Panthers, 48-3.

In the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies scored on a Jordan Johnson 25-yard touchdown pass and a Donny Lisowski interception of Tre'Darrius Canady. On the latter, Canady forced a throw while under pressure, closing his eyes and just tossing the ball in a high arc. Lisowski returned the interception for a 35-yard touchdown.

Johnson threw three touchdown passes and completed 13-of-20 passes for 196 yards. He also led the rushing attack with 86 yards and a touchdown. Peter Nguyen and Jordan Canada rushed for 55 yards and 33 yards, respectively, and one touchdown each. Dan Moore worked as the bruising back and picked up 53 yards on eight carries.

Grizzlies receiver Sam Gratton had four receptions for 90 yards and two touchdown receptions. Kavario Middleton caught the other touchdown pass.

The Panthers lost quarterback Tirrell Rennie in the second half and that led to the other two quarterbacks playing in the final quarter. Rennie had 21 carries for 60 yards,

Panthers coach Mark Farley was denied his 100th career victory with the school while the Grizzlies improved to 19-1 all-time in December games at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Montana will face the winner of the Montana State Bobcats vs. No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats game on Saturday. A December playoff contest between the two Montana schools would be a great game for this postseason.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Northern Iowa Vs. Montana Halftime Score: Grizzlies Hold 28-10 Lead Over Panthers

The No. 4 Montana Grizzlies hold a 28-10 halftime lead over the No. 5 Northern Iowa Panthers in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs. The Grizzlies started off slow by allowing a UNI touchdown to start the scoring, but after that Montana outscored the Panthers, 28-3.

The Grizzlies scored its fourth and final touchdown of the first half with 30 seconds left on the clock. Quarterback Jordan Johnson found Kavario Middleton for a five-yard touchdown pass. Two plays earlier, a 22-yard pass to Antwon Moutra put this drive in high gear. Moutra was by the sideline and was wide open on the other side of the field with at least a 10-yard radius.

Johnson is the team's leading rusher with 52 yards and touchdown on six carries. However, Peter Nguyen and Jordan Canada have also been pounding the ball and have each scored a touchdown. The team has 176 rushing yards at the end of the first half.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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FCS Playoffs 2011: Northern Iowa Vs. Montana Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The quarterfinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs begin on Friday night with the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies hosting the No. 5 Northern Iowa Panthers at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Grizzlies cruised to a 41-14 victory over the Central Arkansas Bears. They finished the first half of the game with a 31-0 lead and then allowed the Bears to score a touchdown in each quarter of the second half. Peter Nguyen and Jordan Canada led the rushing attack that piled up 229 yards on the ground. Canada scored two of Montana's five touchdowns while quarterback Jordan Johnson threw for two touchdowns.

The Panthers had to come back from a 14-7 halftime deficit to the Wofford Terriers. Somewhat reminiscent of several of Tim Tebow's starts for the Denver Broncos (but taken to an extreme), Wofford attempted just three passes while rushing the ball for 73 times for 457 yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers. The Grizzlies should look to exploit that same opportunity.

Of course, the game could have changed had it not been for Wofford's error on a kick return. Stephon Shelton caught the ball and nonchalantly walked over toward the referee, but he had never downed the ball. He lost control of the ball and saw Northern Iowa recover the ball for a touchdown. The Panthers went up by two touchdowns and that changed the flow of the game.

The winner of this game will play the victor of the Montana State Bobcats vs. the No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats game that is on Saturday afternoon. The semifinals take place on Dec. 16 and 17.

Game time/date: 6:05 p.m. MT, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011

Location: John Hoyt Field at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, Missoula, Mont.

TV/Streaming: ESPN/ESPN3

Announcers: Justin Kutcher and Tom Luginbill

Series record: Montana leads, 4-0

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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FCS Playoffs 2011, Second Round Recap: Montana State Will Face No. 1 Sam Houston State In Quarterfinals

The Montana State Bobcats went from being the No. 1 team in the nation to being an unranked but host team in the 2011 FCS Playoffs after losing to the Montana Grizzlies on the last week of the regular season. The Bobcats faced the New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday in a second round matchup escaped with the one-point victory, 26-25. New Hampshire had scored a touchdown with just second left in the game before the kicker missed the extra point.

The Bobcats will go on the road for a Saturday, Dec. 10, game against the No. 1 Sam Houston State Bearkats. Sam Houston State held off the upstart Stony Brook Seawolves, 34-27, with a touchdown run by Tim Flanders with one minute left in the game.

The No. 4 Montana Grizzlies had an easier time with the Central Arkansas Bears, taking a 41-14 victory in that game. The Grizzlies host No. 5 Northern Iowa on Friday, Dec. 9. Northern Iowa was down at halftime, 14-7, but then scored three straight touchdowns over the third and fourth quarters to rally for the victory.

Here are the full results from Saturday (full schedule for the next round here):

Georgia Southern def. Old Dominion, 55-48

Maine def. Appalachian State, 34-12

Montana def. Central Arkansas, 41-14

Sam Houston State def. Stony Brook, 34-27

Montana State def. New Hampshire, 26-25

Lehigh def. Towson, 40-38

North Dakota State def. James Madison, 26-14

Northern Iowa def. Wofford, 28-21

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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Central Arkansas Vs. Montana Final Score: Grizzlies Cruise To 41-14 Victory Over Bears

The Montana Grizzlies advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs by defeating the Central Arkansas Bears, 41-14, on Saturday afternoon. The Grizzlies were able to stop Bears' quarterback Nathan Dick for most of the game and put up their own good offensive numbers.

Montana led, 31-0, at halftime after a field goal, two touchdown passes by Jordan Johnson to Jabin Sambrano and touchdown runs by Peter Nguyen and Jordan Canada. That lead was extended to 38-0 several minutes into the second half when Canada found the endzone again.

However, Dick was able to answer back with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Grandy to finally put the Bears on the boards. But it was not to be the start of a great comeback. Montana added a field goal and then saw Dick throw a touchdown pass late in the final two minutes of the game.

After having just 73 total yards of offense in the first half, the Bears finished with 290 (265 of which were Dick's passing yards). Montana, though, couldn't be stopped, posting 415 yards.

The Grizzlies will play the winner of Wofford vs. No. 5 Northern Iowa in the quarterfinals.

Stick with our 2011 FCS Playoffs StoryStream for more on the postseason.

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FCS Playoffs 2011, Second Round Preview: Montana, Montana State Ready For Postseason Tests

The second round of the 2011 FCS Playoffs gets underway on Saturday, and for the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats this means their first action of the postseason. Both teams received first round byes, the Grizzlies because they won the Big Sky's automatic qualifier and the Bobcats because they were 9-2 during the regular season (reaching No. 1 the week before they lost to the Grizzlies).

The Bobcats have had two weeks to prepare for the New Hampshire Wildcats since that matchup was set during the initial bracket announcement two weeks ago. The Grizzlies, though, had to wait for the winner of the Central Arkansas Bears vs. the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles game. Central Arkansas handed Tennessee Tech a 34-14 loss.

Should the two teams both advance to the quarterfinals, they will be just one round away from playing each other for a spot in the FCS National Championship Game.

Here is the complete schedule for Saturday's games (all times MT, all games on ESPN3/GamePlan):

Old Dominion (10-2) at No. 3 Georgia Southern (9-2), 11:00 a.m.   

Maine (8-3) at Appalachian State (8-3), 12 p.m.   

Central Arkansas (9-3) at No. 4 Montana (9-2), 12:05 p.m.   

Stony Brook (9-3) at No. 1 Sam Houston State (11-0), 1:00 p.m.   

New Hampshire (8-3) at Montana State (9-2), 1:05 p.m.   

Lehigh (10-1) at Towson (9-2), 1:30 p.m.   

James Madison (8-4) at No. 2 North Dakota State (10-1), 2:00 p.m.   

Wofford (8-3) at No. 5 Northern Iowa (9-2), 3:00 p.m.

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