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.