Grizzlies fall short in Washington Grizzly shootout

shaneg By Shane Gillette, News and Sports Reporter, sgillette@keci.com
POSTED: 6:36 PM Oct 26 2013   UPDATED: 9:52 PM Oct 26 2013
EWU vs Griz
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Vernon Adams and the high flying Eagles offense was the story Saturday afternoon as the 10th ranked Montana Grizzlies fell to #3 Eastern Washington 42-37 inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Grizzlies would play the hobbled Travon Van, but not their best cornerback Anthony Goodwin.

It was back and forth in the first half. The Grizzlies struck first with a 40 yard field goal from Ben Worst. Soon afterwards quarterback Vernon Adams hit Ashton Clark for a short touchdown pass to give the Eagles their first lead 7-3.

The Grizzlies would respond, running back Jordan Canada cut his way into the end zone for a twenty eight yard touchdown run helping the Grizzlies take back the lead 10-7.

After a fumble by Van deep in Grizzly territory, Adams made the best of it and bolstered his stat sheet. After the Montana turnover Adams connected with his receiver Cooper Kupp on a 19 yard touchdown pass giving the Eagles a 14-10 lead. Then on the ensuing drive Adams would air it out to Shaquille Hill for and 86 yard strike. Eastern Washington found themselves sitting with a comfortable 21-10 lead.

Without cornerback Anthony "Chief" Goodwin the Grizzly secondary was a lost cause as redshirt freshman JR Nelson had some of his first in game action and Joshua Dennard couldn't slow the Eagle receivers down. Adams would go on to finish the game with 457 yards through the air to go along with six touchdowns.

Midway through the fourth quarter the Grizzlies never gave up. Quarterback Jordan Johnson led the Grizzlies on three touchdown drives. Two of them were 60 plus yard drives that ended in a Johnson to Ellis Henderson score and one where Johnson would find Jordan Harper to bring it to a five point game.

A missed field goal in the fourth quarter would prove to be huge with their five point deficit. After the Harper touchdown Montana would go for the two point conversion but fell inches short.

The Grizzlies were looking for their second straight miraculous comeback. This time having no timeouts and their only hope being the onside kick. Eastern Washington recovered the onside kick to seal the road win and stay undefeated in the Big Sky Conference with the 42-37 victory.

Quarterback Jordan Johnson finished 26/44 for 349 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Grizzly rushing game wasn't a big factor in this one due to the Grizzlies trailing the whole second half. They accumulated 140 yards as a team, and their leading rusher was Canada with 53 yards and a score on the ground.

Montana is now 3-2 in conference play and 6-2 overall. They will travel to Sacramento State Saturday, Nov. 2. in wake of their back to back road games.