Dec. 5, 2009
MISSOULA, Mont. -
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team was unable to overcome 10 turnovers, as the Grizzlies rolled to a 51-0 victory Saturday afternoon at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont. The Lumberjacks finish the season 10-3 overall, while the Grizzlies improve to 13-0 and advance to the FCS semifinals. The shutout marked the first time since the 2007 season that SFA was unable to put points on the scoreboard.
"Obviously, this isn't the way we wanted our season to end," said SFA head coach J.C. Harper. "But you have to take your hat off to Montana. They are a great team. I'm so very proud of my team, and this senior class. They get to walk off the field as Southland Conference Champions."
Turnovers were the story of the game as Montana scored 38 unanswered points to start the game. SFA turned the ball over seven times in the first half, including three times inside the Grizzlies 20-yard line and one at the goal line. The top-seeded Griz made SFA pay for the mistakes taking a 38-point lead into the locker room.
The Lumberjacks were able to move the ball recording 220 yards of total offense in the first half, but were unable to dent the scoreboard. UM finished the first 30 minutes with 298 yards of total offense, including 88 yards on the ground.
Junior quarterback Jeremy Moses completed 14-of-24 passes for 165 yards, but also threw three interceptions. SFA also fumbled football three times in first 30 minutes, and had a punt ricochet off returner Aaron Rhea, which the Grizzlies recovered in SFA territory.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring with a Brody McKnight 34-yard field goal at the 8:53 mark of the first quarter. Less than 2:30 minutes later, Montana tacked on its first of five opening-half touchdowns, when Chase Reynolds crossed the goal line on a three-yard run.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first quarter. After Montana scored on its opening drive of the half, they forced an SFA turnover which Montana converted into points.
The Griz recorded 474 of total offense, while SFA finished the game with 280. Moses finished the game 22-of-34 for 204 yards, but had five interceptions. Senior Duane Brooks led all receivers with eight receptions for 54 yards. SFA was only able to manage 51 yards on the ground, led by senior Vincent Pervis who carried the ball eight times for 47 yards.