Scores

Final

Appalachian St 17

(11-3, 5-2 away)

Montana 24

(14-0, 9-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN

4:00 PM ET, December 12, 2009

Washington Grizzly, Missoula, MT

1 2 3 4 T
APP 0 10 7 017
MONT 7 0 7 1024

Top Performers

Passing: A. Edwards (APP) - 353 YDS, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Reynolds (MONT) - 23 CAR, 193 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: B. Quick (APP) - 10 REC, 135 YDS

Montana holds on, advances to FCS championship game

Associated Press

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Jabin Sambrano had not caught a pass all night when Montana's Andrew Selle looked his way with 1:31 remaining in a tied game.

The sophomore receiver pulled in the ball in the corner of the end zone from 25 yards out, and the Grizzlies survived a last-second rally to beat Appalachian State 24-17 on Saturday and reach the Football Championship Subdivision title game.

"We decided to take a shot at the end zone on first down," Sambrano said. "I made a good move and the ball was thrown right where it needed to be."

Montana (14-0) dealt with frigid temperatures and slippery conditions on a snow-covered field to make the championship game for the second straight year. The Grizzlies will play Villanova on Friday night in Chattanooga, Tenn.

"That's as special as it gets in college football," Montana coach Bobby Hauck said. "A whiteout blizzard on national TV against a great football team."

The Mountaineers (11-3), making their fifth straight semifinal appearance, had a chance to tie the game after marching downfield in the final minute.

Armanti Edwards hit Brian Quick to convert a fourth-and-10 at the 24-yard line, and two plays later connected with Devon Moore to reach the 3 with 6 seconds left. After calling timeout and misfiring once, Edwards dropped back to pass as time expired.

His throw intended for Quick fell incomplete and Montana players rushed the field.

"I have been in that situation before," Edwards said. "We had all of our time-outs and had plenty of time to win the game. We just missed opportunities."

Montana had had used its offense to reach the semifinals, scoring the final 40 points to beat South Dakota State 61-48 in the opening round and then blitzing Stephen F. Austin 51-0.

The Grizzlies turned to their defense this time, holding Appalachian State to its lowest point total of the season. They were helped by 10 penalties that cost the Mountaineers 77 yards.

Chase Reynolds finished with 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Montana, which will be making its seventh trip to the national championship game. The Grizzlies won titles in 1995 and 2001, but lost 24-7 to Richmond in last year's game.

"I felt like my line got on their blocks great," Reynolds said. "They gave me the opportunity to get out and run."

Reynolds gave Montana an early lead with a 39-yard scamper in the first quarter, but Moore answered with a 3-yard run and Jason Vitaris kicked a 46-yard field goal to give Appalachian State a 10-7 lead at halftime.

Reynolds scored again early in the second half, but Appalachian State regained the lead on Moore's second touchdown with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Brody McKnight tied the game 17-17 with a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth.

Moore finished with 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Edwards was 27 of 53 for 343 yards with an interception in his final game for Appalachian State.

The Mountaineers won three straight national championships from 2005-07, with Edwards guiding them to the last two. But he may best be remembered for leading the small school from Boone, N.C., to a 34-32 upset of then-No. 5 Michigan in Ann Arbor to open the 2007 season.

"I don't think we went out and laid down," Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. "We played as hard as we could and just came up a little bit short."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
APP
MONT
1st Downs2920
Total Yards497373
Passing353161
Rushing144212
Penalties11-1312-15
3rd Down Conversions6-163-10
4th Down Conversions2-30-1
Turnovers11
Possession34:5225:08

Passing Leaders

Appalachian StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Edwards28/543536.501
MontanaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Selle11/271616.011

Rushing Leaders

Appalachian StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Moore21844.0218
Edwards15543.609
MontanaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Reynolds231938.4239
Brooks-Fletcher5265.208

Receiving Leaders

Appalachian StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Quick1013513.5033
Cline710114.4026
MontanaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Mariani33913.0021
Reynolds22914.5024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERAPPMONT
TD07:50Chase Reynolds 39 Yd Run (Brody Mcknight Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERAPPMONT
TD14:40Devon Moore 3 Yd Run (Jason Vitaris Kick) 77
FG05:16Jason Vitaris 46 Yd 107
THIRD QUARTERAPPMONT
TD13:22Chase Reynolds 7 Yd Run (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1014
TD03:52Devon Moore 1 Yd Run (Jason Vitaris Kick) 1714
FOURTH QUARTERAPPMONT
FG14:50Brody McKnight 32 Yd 1717
TD01:31Jabin Sambrano 25 Yd Pass From Andrew Selle (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1724