Missoula, MONT - The Kennesaw State Owls defeated Montana State by a final score of 16-14 Saturday afternoon in Bozeman.
Kennesaw State showed right out of the gates why they lead the FCS in rushing yards per game in Saturday's contest against Montana State. The Owls took the opening kickoff and marched down the field 89 yards on 17 plays, capping the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run from quarterback Chandler Burks to go up 7-0 early. The drive chewed up over eight minutes of clock and totaled 67 yards rushing on 14 carries.
However the Bobcats, who rank top ten in the country for rushing yards per game, answered the bell with an impressive drive of their own on their first possession. Montana State needed just 12 plays to cover 77 yards, culminating in a 7-yard touchdown keeper from quarterback Chris Murray to tie the game 7-7.
Despite hot starts for both offenses, the rest of the opening half was a defensive battle with the next six possessions resulting in punts. The only tally put on the board would come in the final seconds of the half on a 35-yard field goal from the Owls' Justin Thompson, giving Kennesaw State a 10-7 lead at the intermission.
The Bobcats started off the second half the same way they did to start the game, turning their opening possession into points as a 37-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Mitchell Herbert gave MSU their first lead of the game 14-10.
On the ensuing drive the Owls picked right back up where they left off by converting a Thompson field goal, this time from 40 yards out, to make it a 14-13 game. However once again the game would turn defensive with neither team finding the scoreboard again in the third quarter.
In the third quarter, the Owls held onto the football for nearly ten minutes and finished the drive with a 37-yard field goal to take the lead.
The Bobcats took over with 1:49 left in the game, but their attempt at a game winning drive ended quickly after an interception. The Owls took over with just over a minute remaining and held on the win the game in a close battle.