Montana State downs CSC 33-6

By ALEX HELMBRECHT, CSC Sports Information Director
BOZEMAN, Mont. – Montana State University didn't let down its guard against Chadron State College this year.
The Bobcats, who entered Thursday's season opener as the fourth-ranked team in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision), avenged their loss to the Eagles in 2006 by cruising to a 33-6 victory over CSC in front of a record crowd of 20,767.
It was the first home night game for Montana State in school history. Clearly, the bright lights didn't affect them. The Bobcats gained 401 yards while limiting the Eagles to 135 and led wire-to-wire in the two teams' fourth meeting.
"We had a hard time getting things going offensively," Chadron State's first year head coach Jay Long said. "Because of that, we had a tough time getting into a rhythm. The crowd affected us and we didn't get off the ball well."
The Eagles forced Montana State to punt on its first two possessions of the game but the Bobcats found pay dirt near the end of the first quarter when shifty quarterback DeNarius McGhee found Tray Robinson in the middle of the field for a 5-yard touchdown.
Chadron State's Garrett Gilkey blocked the ensuing point after touchdown and the Bobcats led, 6-0.
McGhee, the second team All-Big Sky quarterback in 2011, improved to 21-5 as a starting signal caller and gave the Eagles fits all night as he consistently eluded defenders in the backfield to lengthen plays.
For the night, he completed 29 of 40 passes for 176 yards for four touchdowns and added 34 yards on the ground.
All four of his touchdown passes were five yards or less.
The Eagles didn't quit, though, and answered with a field goal moments later after Pierre Etchemendy recovered a fumbled punt on the Bobcats' 10-yard line.
CSC gained five yards on its second play but they were unable to convert on third down – the Eagles converted just one of 14 third down tries in the game – and Alex Ferdinand booted a 22-yard field goal.
Montana State exerted some of its will in the second quarter, scoring on a 5-yard toss to Tiai Salanoa to cap a massive 13-play, 75-yard drive. However, Chadron State's Jake McCrary blocked the PAT and MSU led 12-6.
The Bobcats didn't let the special teams miscues haunt them, though, and Jon Ellis added the Bobcats' third TD of the game later in the quarter when he scored on a 2-yard pass from McGhee, giving them a 19-3 lead at halftime.
Ferdinand gave the Eagles another field goal – this time, a 40-yard kick – to cap off a seven-play, 40-yard drive.
The Eagles' defense forced Montana State off the field following a stand on fourth down to get good field position and then CSC was awarded 30 yards on two different penalties to help move Ferdinand in field goal range.
The spark provided by Ferdinand's second field goal didn't take hold and MSU added two more touchdowns – one in the third and one in the fourth – to pull away.
Chadron State will play at Angelo State on Saturday, Sept. 8. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
CSC 3 0 3 0 - 6
MSU 6 13 7 7 - 33

Scoring Summary
First Quarter
MSU – Tray Robinson 5 pass from DeNarius McGhee (Kick blocked)
CSC – Alex Ferdinand 22 field goal
Second Quarter
MSU – Tiai Salanoa 5 pass from McGhee (Kick blocked)
MSU – Jon Ellis 2 pass from McGhee (Trevor Bolton kick)
Third Quarter
CSC – Ferdinand 38 field goal
MSU – Jon Ellis 3 pass from McGhee (Bolton kick)
Fourth Quarter
MSU – Orenzo Davis 4 run (Bolton kick)

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