FCS Playoffs: Montana State Pulls Away from Incarnate Word Late, Prevail 35-14

Courtesy MTN Sports

Montana State 35, Incarnate Word 14

Video Highlights Courtesy NCAA.com

BOZEMAN, Mont.—QB Troy Andersen ran for a touchdown and threw for another to lead Montana State to a 35-14 win over Incarnate Word in the first round of the Division I FCS playoffs.

MSU (8-4) got the key touchdown early in the fourth quarter when WR Travis Jonsen scored on a keeper from the 19 to push its lead to 28-14 after a personal foul moved the ball back from the 4-yard-line. Andersen then hit Jonsen from 37 yards out to put the Bobcats up 35-14.

QB Sean Brophy, filling in for the injured Jon Copeland, was making his first start of the season after starting all the games last year for Incarnate Word (6-5). He connected with Jalen Campbell in the first quarter to tie the game. Brophy completed his first seven passes. He led the Cardinals to another score to start the second half, hitting Kody Edwards from 33 yards to cut MSU’s lead to 18-14.

Lance McCutcheon got MSU on the board first when he plucked a blocked punt out of the air on Incarnate Word’s first possession and returned it 11 yards for a TD. Nolan Askelson blocked the punt.

Following a safety that was created by Grant Collins forcing Brophy into intentionally grounding the ball from the end zone, the Bobcats drove to the Cardinals 11, but failed on a fake field goal.

Courtesy MTN Sports

“It seems like it’s contagious that way,” MSU head coach Jeff Choate said. “You just need to get a couple (turnovers) and pretty soon, guys start to believe. They start ripping the ball out or high-pointing it in the end-zone, there’s some good things going on right now and we need them to continue.”

RB Isaiah Ifanse ran for 171 yards on 30 carries for the Bobcats, while Andersen completed 12 of 19 passes for 164 yards and ran for another 84 yards on 21 rushes. Brayden Konkol had a forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception and a sack.

Brophy finished 22 of 35 for 313 yards and two TD passes for the Cardinals.

After today’s victory the Bobcats have currently won four games in a row. Those four have been as close to win or go home as possible, each week the Bobcats have been up to the task.

“I think (the biggest difference is) our mindset — our mindset at practice every day — coming out and trying to get better,” Andersen said. “Every week’s a championship week, try and get better every day and take it one opponent at a time.”

The Bobcats advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs. MSU travels to Fargo, N.D., to face top seeded North Dakota State next Saturday, Dec. 1.