Bobcats Drop Heartbreaker to Eastern Washington - News, Sports and Weather

Bobcats Drop Heartbreaker to Eastern Washington

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A game that featured 103 points and 1,129 yards really boiled down to a small handful of plays in the fourth quarter.

Eastern Washington stopped Montana State twice on fourth downs in the final period, and after marching 75 yards to pull to within 51-50 with 27 seconds to play turned a Vernon Adams rush into a game-winning two-point conversion to lead second-ranked Eastern Washington to a 52-51 win over 14th-ranked Montana State in sunsplashed Bozeman on Saturday.

"That's what Vernon Adams does," MSU coach Rob Ash said of Eastern Washington's final drive, which ended with Adams at 358 yards passing on a 25-for-43 effort, and another 17 yards on the ground. "I really thought after the first three plays (on the last drive) that this was the day. On fourth-and-11, I really envisioned it going our way."

Instead, Adams found Kendrick Bourne alone in a seam directly in front of the Bobcat bench, the play covering 40 yards and flipping the Eagles from their own 39 to the Bobcat 21. Eastern scored three plays later, and with place kicker Roban Alcobendas injured the Eagles lined up for a two-point conversion. After a controversial offsides call, Adams knifed in from inside the two for the decisive points.

Montana State held a 44-30 lead with just over 16 minutes left when Quincy Forte scored on a four-yard run to draw the Eagels to within seven. On the ensuing possession, facing a fourth-and-one at the start of the fourth quarter, Anthony Knight was stopped short, giving Eastern the ball at the MSU 34. The Eagles scored six plays later, and the game was tied.

After MSU was stopped on another fourth down play, this time at the Eastern 33, the Cats took the ball away at the Eagles 29 to give themselves one more opportunity.

This time, they took advantage.

Dakota Prukop threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day with 1:55 to play, pushing the Bobcats into a one touchdown lead that Adams would eradicate.

Although the game was officially a non-league affair, it harkened back to an earlier time in the Big Sky when offenses ran amok and defensive coordinators trembled on sidelines. MSU rolled up 299 yards rushing and 248 passing for 547 total yards. Shawn Johnson rushed for 150 yards and Tanner Roderick piled up 122 receiving yards, both career highs.

Eastern's numbers were one drive better. The Eagles rused for 224, but Adams threw for 358. Quincy Forte's 190 yards rushing were complemented by Cooper Kupp's 152 receiving yards.

Eastern Washington raised its record to 3-1 on the season, while MSU fell to 2-2.

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