BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Montana State coach Mike Kramer says there
were two great stories came out of the Bobcats' 24-18 victory over
Weber State on Saturday.
The Bobcats, ranked 24th in NCAA Division I-AA, rallied from an
18-10 deficit and a miserable third quarter to score twice in the
final 11 minutes -- a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jack Rolovich to
Deon Toliver and a 51-yard interception return by Michael Beach.
"For the rest of their life, these guys will remember Michael
Beach taking it into the end zone to put the 'Cats at -- what is it
-- five and one in the Big Sky Conference," Kramer said.
Kramer said Toliver made the choice to make a play in the corner
of the end zone with 10:49 remaining, although he landed wrong,
broke his collarbone and is lost for the season. Toliver's
touchdown pulled the Bobcats (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky) within 18-16.
"It was a really emotional touchdown," said Rolovich. "There
was no one sitting on the bench after that one. I, for one, knew we
were going to win after that one."
But the Bobcats didn't regain the lead until Beach picked off
Ian Pizarro and ran 51 yards for a score with 4:40 to play.
"It was a man coverage call ... so I played a little tighter
and suddenly the end zone was in front of me," said Beach.
Rolovich ran in the two-point conversion.
"It just reminds you of how much you love this game and why
you're playing it," Rolovich said. "It's like no other feeling in
the world. You just can't put it into words."
Rolovich, in his third start, completed 12-of-24 passes for 156
yards and two touchdowns, including a 19-yard pass to Donell
Wheaton with 9:21 left in the first quarter.
Kramer said Rolovich had trouble with the man-to-man defense of
Weber State (2-6, 1-4).
"Jack didn't play well," Kramer said. "He's never played
against it in his life. When he sees the tape tomorrow, he'll be
like, 'Oh! Guys were wide open. Guys were separating while Jack was
holding the ball."
Jeff Hastings kicked a 29-yard field goal to give MSU a 10-0
lead with 10:45 left in the half.
Weber State got within 10-6 on a 30-yard TD pass from Pizarro to
Marky Filipe with 1:01 left in the half. A high snap caused the
conversion to fail.
Weber State opened the second half with three straight scores, a
32-yard field goal by Conor Foley with 3:03 left in the third and
two minutes later, a safety after Ty Sparrow blocked an MSU punt
into the end zone.
The Wildcats took an 18-10 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by
Trevyn Smith with 13:25 to play.
Rolovich then started connecting on passes, including the
24-yard scoring strike that helped rally the Bobcats, but ended
"We need to have the confidence when we're down to be able to
come back," said Rolovich.
Both teams' next drives were fruitless. Weber State was
successful on a fake punt on fourth down, but the play was called
back on a penalty. Montana State missed a field goal after a bad
Weber State coach Ron McBride said the fake punt, "was a huge
factor in the fourth quarter."
On Weber's next drive, Beach intercepted Ian Pizarro for the
"You can only blame ourselves because we threw that pick on
third and four," McBride said.
Pizarro completed 20-of-39 passes for 230 yards and was sacked
five times. Filipe had six catches for 99 yards and Smith had 22
carries for 65 yards.
It was MSU's sixth straight win over Weber State. The past two
years MSU won on field goals as time expired.
"Now we've beaten them five, six in a row, but it's always
close," Kramer said. "Give those guys some credit."
McBride, whose team fell 33-30 to Montana last weekend, was
willing to take some credit.
"I think the last two weeks we've played the best two teams in
the league, but we're as good as either of them," he said.