Cal Poly 9

(6-3, 2-1 Big Sky)

Montana 10

(8-1, 6-0 Big Sky)

2:05 PM ET, November 4, 2006

Washington Grizzly, Missoula, MT

1 2 3 4 T
CP 0 6 0 39
MONT 0 0 7 310

Top Performers

Passing: M. Brennan (CP) - 207 YDS

Rushing: J. Noble (CP) - 23 CAR, 61 YDS

Receiving: R. Barden (CP) - 6 REC, 123 YDS

Montana 10, Cal Poly 9

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Dan Carpenter, who missed a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter, kicked a 21-yarder with five seconds remaining Saturday to lift Montana to a 10-9 victory over Cal Poly in a defensive battle of Top 10 NCAA Division I-AA teams.

"Dan's got a flair for the dramatic," said Montana coach Bobby Hauck. "He's always wanted to make a game-winner. I guess he did it."

The field goal capped a 16-play, 76-yard drive by the second-ranked Grizzlies (8-1), who trailed 9-7 after Nick Coromelas kicked a 47-yard field goal with 3:56 remaining.

"It was a hard-fought football game between two good football teams," said Cal Poly coach Rich Ellerson. "I give them credit. They made one more play than we did."

Montana's final drive featured several big plays, starting with Josh Swogger's 29-yard pass to Eric Allen that advanced the ball to the Montana 44. A few plays later, Swogger was sacked by Kyle Shotwell, giving Montana a fourth-and-13 from their own 41. Swogger hit Ryan Bagley for first down yardage at the Cal Poly 45.

On third-and-7, Swogger hit Allen on a 17-yard completion to the Mustang 25. The Griz converted another third-down play when Reggie Bradshaw ran 15 yards to the Cal Poly 10. Following three carries by Bradshaw for a total of 4 yards, and three time outs, the stage was set for Carpenter's game-winner.

"The offense did a great job when they needed to," Carpenter said. "I'm just grateful they gave me a shot."

Montana's offense hadn't been so efficient to that point, even hearing some boos from the crowd.

The Grizzlies had no first downs and just 21 yards in total offense in the first quarter, while No. 6 Cal Poly (6-3) gained 111 yards.

"Things just weren't working out in the first half," Swogger said. "I missed some receivers a couple times."

Hauck also brought in backup Cole Bergquist.

"We had some plays called for him," Hauck said. "We had a nice little quarterback option package."

Bergquist had two shots at the end zone in the second quarter, but the passes fell incomplete. Then Carpenter missed the field goal with 9:50 left in the half.

The Mustangs led 6-0 at halftime on second-quarter field goals of 35 and 30 yards by Coromelas.

There were scattered boos in Washington Grizzly Stadium as the Montana offense continued to struggle in the third quarter, but the crowd cheered the Griz defense, especially when Dustin Dlouhy forced quarterback Matt Brennan to fumble with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. Tyler Joyce recovered the ball.

"I was in the right spot. He just came to me," said Dlouhy, who had 10 tackles. "I had no other choice but to do it."

Hauck said, "That's the best defense in the country. We knew it would take some breaks to score."

The fans booed loudly when Swogger ran on the next play from scrimmage, but they just as quickly went back to cheering after the following play -- a 27-yard touchdown pass from Swogger to Ryan Bagley with 1 second left in the third quarter.

"We had been running that play all week," Bagley said. "We knew it would be open."

Swogger completed 12 of 30 passes for 161 yards and was sacked seven times, but was 4-of-8 for 68 yards on UM's final drive. Brady Green rushed 10 times for 40 yards for the Grizzlies. Allen caught five passes for 87 yards.

Brennan completed 14 of 27 passes for 207 yards, including six passes for 123 yards to Ramses Barden. James Noble rushed 23 times for 61 yards, nearly 50 yards below is season average, as the Grizzlies were able to prevent him from turning the corner on the option run.

Cal Poly punted nine times and Montana 10 in the defensive battle.

"That's the best defense we've faced, top to bottom," Ellerson said.

Shotwell, who led Cal Poly with 10 tackles, said the Mustangs still have playoff possibilities.

"We're definitely a playoff team to come up here and play Montana to 10-9," he said.