Records fall as Montana Griz roll past Portland State 53-16
(GoGriz.com) Montana celebrated Homecoming in style, exacting some revenge on Portland State to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Grizzlies ran away from the Vikings, scoring 36 of the final 38 points to run away with a 53-16 Big Sky Conference win.
The win improves Montana to 32-4 in Homecoming games played at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Robby Hauck made history for Montana in the win, eclipsing 400 career tackles to set the all-time program record previously held by Dante Olson. His day became even more special on the final play of the first half, when Hauck returned a missed field goal for a 99-yard touchdown. It was a complete performance from the Missoula native, who finished with seven tackles to improve his career total to 402.
"I'm proud of that kid. He's just been unbelievable for us for a long time," said his father and Grizzly head coach Bobby Hauck. "We gave him the game ball in the locker room. It was kind of a presentation and something we don't do very often. His uncle Tim gave it to him, and it was just a really cool deal and fun to see his teammates rally around that."
Hauck and the Grizzly defense put forth another outstanding effort, holding Portland State to just 199 total yards for the game. After a couple of scores early from the Vikings, the defense locked in. They allowed just 34 second-half yards to the Vikings, leaving no doubt.
Robby Hauck was one of three Grizzly players with seven tackles on the day. Linebackers Patrick O'Connell and Marcus Welnel also finished with seven, and Welnel added two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. O'Connell also had a share of a sack to continue his outstanding season.
"It was great (from our defense). And when you calculate in the special teams score and the extra possessions they were getting, it's really phenomenal. They probably had three extra possessions, so it was good by our defense. They were special today."
As noted, Hauck scored on the field goal return but it wasn't the only big play from Montana's special teams. Junior Bergen returned his first career punt for a touchdown, going 72 yards for a score. Keelan White nearly broke a punt return for a touchdown as well, as Montana finished with 159 punt return yards.