On Saturday, the ETSU football team went against one of its toughest competitors.
The Bucs traveled to Bozeman, Montana, to take on one of the top football teams in FCS football, the Montana State Bobcats.
The Bucs were surrounded by the biggest crowd they’d played for this year, as Montana State brought 18,617 fans.
The Bucs took a plane to Montana early Friday morning. This was the first time the team had taken a plane to compete, and it was also the first time many of the players had ever been on a plane.
The first quarter didn’t start off well for the Bucs, as their first drive ended in three plays and only consisted of six yards.
Montana marched down the field in their first drive of the game and finished with a 1-yard run by junior running back Chad Newell (Billings, Mont.) for the first touchdown of the game.
The Bucs did better their next time on offense. They went 31 yards before being forced to punt due to incomplete passes and false starts.
It took Montana five plays to score the second touchdown in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Dakota Prokop (Austin, TX) completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Justin Paige.
The Bobcats couldn’t convert a rush attempt after the touchdown, giving them a 130 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Montana State did not hold back in the second quarter. The Bucs had a chance to put three points on the board at the beginning of the second quarter, but JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) missed a field goal attempt from 47 yards.
The first touchdown for the Bobcats in the second quarter came from an 8-yard pass to Newell from Prukop.
After a sack and fumble by ETSU quarterback Nick Sexton, the Bobcats scored their second touchdown of the quarter after a 12-yard pass from Prukop to Beau Sandland (Simi Valley, CA).
The final touchdown before halftime was scored after a 3-yard run by Newell to the end zone. A rush attempt for two points was good following the touchdown.
The Bucs were unable to respond, and the score was 35-0 going into halftime.
The second half looked similar to the first as Montana State continued to score touchdown after touchdown.
In the third quarter, Montana State scored twice.
The first touchdown was scored from 1-yard run by redshirt freshman Tavon Dodd (Houston, TX) in the beginning of the quarter, and the second came from a 3-yard run by Nick LaSane (Dallas, TX).
The score was 49-0 going into the final quarter.
Noah James ran 1 yard to the end zone, giving Montana State its first touchdown of the quarter.
The Bucs then used 10 plays and completed 75 yards, ending with a four yard touchdown run by ETSU’s Jujuan Lankford (South Pittsburg, Tenn.).
This run gave ETSU their first touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 56-7.
Immediately after this drive, wide receiver Jayshawn Gates (Palo Alto, CA) completed a 97-yard return from Jerman’s 62-yard kickoff.
This was the final touchdown of the game, giving the Bobcats a 63-7 win.
“We fought our guts out in the second half,” said ETSU coach Carl Torbush. “Obviously, [Montana State] had a few big plays, but overall, I thought our players fought really hard. We have a long way to go, and even though the score may not indicate it, I think we made improvement.”
The Bucs will return home this Saturday after being away for two games. They will face Warner University at 1 p.m. at Kermit Tipton Stadium.