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Rapid Reaction: Montana State 45, Cal Poly 7

Lance McCutcheon makes a terrific grab in the first half
Posted at 5:03 PM, Oct 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-09 20:29:41-04

BOZEMAN — The Montana State Bobcats were 4-1 coming into the day taking on the 1-4 Cal Poly Mustangs. The Bobcats were looking to win their fifth straight game after losing to Wyoming to start the year.

It took a little longer than expected for Montana State to put points on the board, but once they did, the scoreboard didn't stop moving up. Montana State cruised to a 45-7 victory.

Photo gallery can be found here.

With a little over two minutes left in the first quarter Bobcats QB Matt McKay threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to his sophomore tight end Treyton Pickering to give MSU a 7-0 lead.

On the next possession Montana State forced a turnover as defensive back Jeffrey Manning Jr. jarred a ball loose from a Cal Poly receiver attempting to make a catch and the ball found senior defensive back Tyrel Thomas who made the interception. Montana State would wasted no time making Cal Poly pay for the turnover, as Isaiah Ifanse would run seven yards into the end zone for a touchdown to make the game 14-0.

Ifanse would score two more rushing touchdowns in the first half on a one-yard run and a 12-yard pass. Backup quarterback Tommy Mellott would break a 74-yard run for a touchdown and the Bobcats found themselves with a 35-0 lead at the half, setting themselves up for a comfortable 45-7 win.

TURNING POINT: With Montana State up 7-0 in the first quarter defensive back Jeffrey Manning Jr. knocked the ball loose from a Cal Poly wide receiver attempting to catch the ball and it ended up in the hands of senior defensive back Tyrel Thomas for the interception. Thomas was playing in his first game of the season after returning from an injury. Running back Isaiah Ifanse would make the game 14-0 on a 7-yard rush on the ensuing possession.

STAT OF THE GAME: 100%. The Montana State offense capitalized each and every time they reached the red zone. All four times they were there they scored a touchdown.

GAME BALLS: Running back Isaiah Ifanse, Tommy Mellot and the Montana State defense.

Junior running back Isaiah Ifanse rushed 13 times for 58 yards with two rushing touchdowns. He had another touchdown through the air.

Butte native, freshman backup quarterback Tommy Mellott continues to make the most of his playing time. In the second quarter Mellott ran in a 74-yard touchdown, the first of his MSU career, to blow the game wide-open 28-0.

The Montana State defense continues to shine under new defensive coordinator Freddie Banks. This week the team had four interceptions by Thomas, O'Reilly, Manning Jr. and Tadan Gilman. They have now held their last two opponents to seven points a piece.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Bobcats (5-1) head to Ogden, Utah to take on 2-3 Weber State next Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.