Ifanse leads Montana State into FCS semis with 24-10 win

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Isaiah Ifanse ran for 196 yards and a touchdown and passed for a touchdown to lead Montana State to a 24-10 win over Austin Peay in the FCS quarterfinals on Friday night.

The fifth-seeded Bobcats (11-3) will next take on the winner of Saturday’s game between Illinois State and defending champion North Dakota State.

“Sometimes you just tip your hat to your opponent,” Austin Peay coach Mark Hudspeth said. “They’re an outstanding football team with outstanding fans and an outstanding defense.”

The Bobcats sacked JaVaughn Craig four times, the last when Derek Marks strip-sacked Craig and Bryce Sterk scooped up the ball and rumbled to the APSU 11 with 1:07 to play.

“They’re a dangerous team with their plus-one quarterback run game, but once it became a drop-back game that was to our advantage,” MSU coach Jeff Choate said.

Ifanse broke loose on the third play of the game, racing 60 yards up the middle for a touchdown. Late in the third quarter, he took the snap out of the Wildcat formation and threw a jump pass to defensive tackle Jason Scrempos, who was lined up at tight end, giving MSU a 24-3 lead.

MSU’s Brayden Konkol intercepted a JaVaughn Craig pass on the Governors’ first possession of the second half. The Bobcats drove 57 yards for a touchdown when Tucker Rovig hit Kevin Kassis in the back corner of the end zone for a 5-yard score.

MSU held APSU (11-4) to no first downs in the first quarter and just three through the first three quarters. The Governors had just 18 yards on 19 carries.

“Our front seven is so good,” MSU safety Brayden Konkol said. “It almost gets boring playing safety.”

Rovig finished 13-of-20 passing with one touchdown and 114 yards. Logan Jones had 59 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Craig was 18-of-37 passing with 173 yards and two interceptions. He tossed a 76-yard touchdown to DeAngel Wilson in the third quarter.

TAKEAWAY

The win advances the Bobcats to the semifinals for the first time since 1984, which is the last year they won a national title.