Sac State football falls short in game against No. 14 Montana 28-25

Marshall Hampson

The Sacramento State football team lost a close game to No. 14 University of Montana, 28-25 today at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont.

The Hornets let go of a 25-21 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter and had no response on offense to get the win. The lead changed eight times and featured many Hornet trick plays, a blocked punt and several offensive big plays.

Sac State drops to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets have never beat the Grizzlies.

Quarterback Jeff Fleming threw the both of his touchdown passes to tight end Matt Carter, including the 3-yard touchdown pass with 14:56 in the fourth quarter.

But quarterback Justin Roper led the Grizzly offense down the field and found Bryce Carver for a 29-yard touchdown pass to put the Grizzlies up 28-25. Roper went 16-of-19 passing for 189 yards.

Another offensive bright spot was kicker Chris Diniz. Diniz went 4 for 4 in field goals (50, 42, 28, 34). The Hornets were unable to get in the end zone on four different occasions due to Montana’s defensive stops.

Running back Bryan Hilliard registered his third straight 100-yard rushing game with 124 yards on 26 carries. He racked up 101 yards in the first half on 15 carries.

The Hornets return home to host Montana State University, which defeated Eastern Washington today, at Hornet Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at