BOZEMAN, Mont. — The much-anticipated showdown between Big Sky Conference powers Eastern Washington and Montana State lived up to its billing and then some.
Mario Brown scored on a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. ran in the two-point conversion to lift Eastern Washington to a 52-51 non-conference victory against the Bobcats on Saturday.
The Bobcats had forged ahead with 1:55 to play when Dakota Prukop threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game hitting Shaun Johnson from nine yards on third-and-goal, putting MSU up 51-44.
MSU got to the EWU 43-yard line, but a pass in the flat to Johnson that could’ve put the Bobcats in field goal range went off his hands. A last gasp heave into the end zone fell incomplete as MSU lost to EWU for the third year in a row.
The teams combined for 1,129 yards. Quincy Forte ran for 146 yards in the first quarter and finished with 190 yards and four touchdowns. Adams was 25-for-43 passing for 358 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson had 150 yards rushing and 62 receiving with three total touchdowns. He also had 374 all-purpose yards with 162 on returns.
No. 1 North Dakota State 22, No. 3 Montana 10
FARGO, N.D. — Adam Keller kicked a school-record five field goals to lead No. 1 North Dakota State to a 22-10 win against No. 3 Montana.
NDSU extended its FCS-record winning streak to 28 games in a row and moved its home winning streak to 16 games, which is tops in Division I football. The Bison have won 36 consecutive non-conference home games since 2003.
Keller connected from 41, 22, 32 and a season-long 47 yards in the first half as NDSU scored on four of its first five possessions. His 30-yarder with 1:43 left in the game capped a 13-play, 46-yard drive that ate up more than 7 minutes of the fourth quarter.
NDSU’s only touchdown of the game was a 3-yard pass from Carson Wentz to tight end Kevin Vaadeland that made it 19-10 late in the third quarter. Montana drove to the NDSU 17 on the next possession before committing its first turnover of the season — a Christian Dudzik interception in the end zone.
Wentz finished 16-of-24 passing for 167 yards and John Crockett rushed 28 times for 144 yards as NDSU outgained Montana 447 to 256 in total offense.
No. 5 Coastal Carolina 48, Florida A&M 3
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Alex Ross threw one touchdown pass and ran for another and Coastal Carolina routed Florida A&M 48-3 on Saturday night.
Ross threw a 25-yard touchdown strike to John Israel and ran 13 yards for a score.
De’Angelo Henderson had touchdown runs of 13 and 2 yards while Alex Catron added field goals of 39 and 51 yards for Coastal Carolina, which has scored 30 or more points in each game.
It was the first meeting between the schools.
No. 7 Villanova 49, James Madison 31
VILLANOVA, Pa. — Junior quarterback John Robertson had a career-best passing performance and No. 8 Villanova scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to surge past James Madison by a final score of 49-31. The Wildcats overcame a 10-point deficit early in the third quarter and win the CAA Football opener for both teams.
Robertson threw for a career-high 337 yards and matched a career high with four passing touchdowns. He completed his first 15 attempts of the game and finished the day 22-of-27 passing through the air. He connected with eight different receivers, including four who had at least 68 receiving yards on the afternoon.
Senior tight end Earnest Pettway caught a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter, with the latter score giving Villanova the lead for good. Five different players had a touchdown for the Wildcats, with Pettway and senior running back Kevin Monangai each scoring twice. Monangai ran for 129 yards on 15 carries.
The teams combined for 1,131 yards of total offense, with the Dukes owning a slight edge (568-563) in that category. The total yardage in the game was just 36 yards off the single-game school record for combined total offense between Villanova and its opponent. In addition to the 337 yards passing by Robertson, the Wildcats also ran for 226 yards.
No. 8 Jacksonville State 45, West Alabama 34
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — Josh Barge had six receptions for 100 yards with three touchdowns and Jacksonville State defeated Division II West Alabama 45-34 on Saturday.
The Gamecocks had three different quarterbacks combine to go 17-of-29 passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Max Shortell threw two scores to Barge and Eli Jenkins had an 88-yard strike to Markis Merrill.
Leading 24-14 at halftime, Jacksonville State pulled away as Barge caught touchdowns of 13 yards from Shortell and 14 yards from Christian LeMay. Jermaine Hough added a 34-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter to make it 45-14.
Kyle Caldwell led a string of late scoring drives, but West Alabama still trailed by 11 and couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick.
No. 9 New Hampshire 29, Richmond 26
RICHMOND, Va. – Nico Steriti scored on a two-yard run with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the No. 7 University of New Hampshire football team to a 29-26 victory against No. 17 University of Richmond in Saturday afternoon’s CAA opener at Robins Stadium.
UNH, with its fourth consecutive win against Richmond in the series, improved to 2-1 overall while the Spiders fell to 2-2. Richmond had regained the lead, 26-22, on Seth Fisher’s four-yard TD with 6:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Following a touchback, UNH began its game-winning drive on its 25 with backup quarterback Andy Vailas at the helm because starting QB Sean Goldrich was injured on his one-yard TD that gave the Wildcats a 22-19 lead at 10:59 of the fourth quarter. On first down, Vailas completed his first pass attempt fo the day to R.J. Harris for six yards. Four plays later, UNH faced 3rd-and-8 on its 37 and Vailas hit Harris on an out pattern to the right side and the wideout turned upfield for a gain of 24 yards to the Richmond 39.
Facing 3rd-and-3 at the UR 9, Vailas’ pass to Harold Spears in the end zone sailed high with 33 seconds on the clock. Vailas then pulled the ball down and ran up the middle for a seven-yard gain to give New Hampshire 1st-and-goal at the UR 2 with 24 seconds to go. One play later, Steriti plowed into the end zone and the Christian Breda PAT gave UNH a 29-26 lead with 19 seconds remaining.