SFA Stuns No. 2/3 Montana State, 52-38
Sept. 21, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks football team stunned the No. 2/3 nationally ranked Montana State Bobcats, 52-38 Saturday evening at Homer Bryce Stadium in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000 to even their season record at 2-2.
SFA junior running back Gus Johnson scored one of his three rushing touchdowns with 5:01 remaining to give the `Jacks the lead for good at 45-38. Senior linebacker Ortavious Hypolite added the finishing touch on a monumental `Jacks victory with an interception returned for a touchdown with just 26 seconds remaining, making the final score of 52-38.
The `Jacks offense gained a season-high 567 total yards, which included a 392 yard performance from senior quarterback Brady Attaway. The Whitehouse, Texas native completed 34-of-56 pass attempts and threw two touchdowns, surpassing Texas State's Bradley George for third all-time in Southland Conference history with 772 completions to date.
Johnson posted the eighth 100-yard plus performance of his career, and third this season, with 157 yards on 26 carries along with the three scores.
The victory was a bit of redemption for SFA, who fell last season at Montana State 43-35 in heartbreaker. The `Jacks improved to 2-4 all-time against the Bobcats and have now won nine consecutive games at home.
SFA stormed out of the gates in the first quarter, jumping out to a 17-3 advantage with 2:52 left in the quarter following a 23-yard scoring plunge from Johnson. Prior to that score, senior wide receiver Mike Brooks (9 receptions, 89 yards) scored his fourth touchdown of the season on a two-yard pass from Attaway.
MSU (2-2) crept a bit closer to end the opening quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Bleskin to Jon Ellis, cutting the deficit to 17-9 after a missed point after. The `Jacks responded right back on Attaway's second touchdown pass of the night, this time going to DJ Ward (6 receptions, 78 yards) from two-yards away to make the score 24-9.
The Bobcats outscored the `Jacks 15-7 the remainder of the second quarter and SFA entered halftime with a 31-24 advantage in an offensive shootout. MSU cut the lead to 31-30 with 1:59 left in the third quarter on a Jon Ellis 10-yard touchdown run but elected to go for a two-point conversion and failed, leaving SFA with a one-point lead.
MSU took their last lead of the night at with 11:34 left in the game on a two-yard scoring run from Cody Kirk, putting SFA behind 38-31. However, the `Jacks put together an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by Joshawa West's first career touchdown to knot the score 38-38.
The SFA defense shined the rest of the quarter, giving the offense an opportunity to win the game. On the game-winning drive Aaron Thomas came up with a massive 43-yard pitch-and-catch from Attaway to put the `Jacks in the red zone.
The `Jacks will look to carry their momentum into next Saturday's home game against Prairie View, which is set to kickoff at 6 p.m.