3:05 PM ET, September 27, 2003
Washington Grizzly, Missoula, MT
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Just when it looked like Montana was running out of options, coach Bobby Hauck used two freshmen quarterbacks and an option package to down Division I-A Idaho 41-28 Saturday.
So the Grizzlies' hopes for a fourth consecutive win over longtime rival Idaho (0-5) rested with freshmen quarterbacks Justin Hartman and Kyle Samson and an unexpected option package that produced 344 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
"We put a lot of effort into our game play on offense, defense and special teams this week to get this win," said Hauck. "It wasn't the kind of game -- with our injury situation, our quarterback situation -- that we could just line up and do what we do.
"We worked really hard to give Idaho some new wrinkles and my hope for the game today was that it would be a miserable day for their defensive coordinator," Hauck said. "We gave them a lot of stuff that was hard for them."
"I don't think I did a very good job, me personally, getting this team ready to play," said Idaho coach Tom Cable. "Bottom line, this is on me. This team was not ready to play, in terms of turnovers and lack of discipline."
Idaho was penalized 13 times for 96 yards and had three fumbles -- two back-to-back in the third quarter as Montana pulled away from a 17-9 halftime lead.
Johnny Varona forced a fumble by Idaho's Cliff Mason that Chris Connors recovered. Five plays later, Hartman scored on a 7-yard run.
Brett Meyers forced Malfred Shaw to fumble on the second play of Idaho's next drive and Samson led the drive toward a 6-yard TD run by Hilliard to put Montana up 31-9 with 8:24 left in the third quarter.
Zach Gerstner scored on a 1-yard run with 3:19 left in the third and Idaho pulled within 31-21 on a 15-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Brian Lindgren to Orlando Winston with 10:02 remaining. Gerstner led Idaho with 40 yards rushing.
Hilliard rushed for 23 yards and Hartman connected with Jon Talmage for a 48-yard pass play during a Montana's next drive, which took more than six minutes off the clock and gave the Grizzlies a 34-21 lead on a 20-yard field goal by Chris Snyder with 3:53 remaining.
"That play came in as a basically throw-it-to Talmage play," Hartman said of his longest pass play of the game. "We were third and long and Jon hadn't gotten the ball all game. I just threw it up and Jon made a heck of a catch."
Montana's Lance Spencer sacked Lindgren on a 4th-and-10 play with 2:50 remaining, setting up Green's 6-yard TD run that put Montana up 41-21 with 1:51 to play.
Lindgren connected on 6-of-9 passes for 65 yards on Idaho's next drive, including a 3-yard TD pass to Jeff Stowe with 35 seconds to play. Lindgren completed 16-of-31 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns after replacing Michael Harrington with just under six minutes to play in the third.
Heidelberger opened the scoring with an 80-yard TD run on Montana's first play from scrimmage.
"Talmage had a great block to spring him ... and JR (Waller) ended up getting a real good block near the end zone," Hartman said. "It was a real good job by everybody."
Idaho pulled within 7-2 when Brian Howard tackled Waller in the end zone on a 3rd-and-10 play from Montana's 3-yard line. Ryan Downes had punted the ball 42 yards to the Montana 3.
Montana led 14-2 after Levander Segars returned a punt 52 yards to the Idaho 4-yard-line and Waller scored on a 2-yard run with 9:51 left in the half. Idaho pulled within 14-9 a minute later on an 18-yard pass from Harrington to Winston, who caught nine passes for 167 yards.
Snyder added a 29-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half to put Montana up 17-9. Snyder finished the game as Montana's career leader in field goals (50) and total points (301). He had tied the records two weeks ago against Sam Houston State.