North Dakota 40, Montana 34

Greg Hardin caught a 32-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds

left, breaking the Big Sky Conference receiving record with 333

yards in North Dakota’s 40-34 victory over Montana on Saturday.

Hardin caught 12 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns,

breaking the previous record of 315 yards set by Northern

Colorado’s Patrick Walker in 2011. The 333 yards receiving is a

North Dakota record for Hardin who wasn’t far off from the FCS

all-time mark of 376 yards set by Kassim Osgood in 2000. The junior

receiver did most of his damage in the first half, catching seven

passes for 243 yards and two scores.

Hardin wasn’t the only one to shine for North Dakota (4-4, 2-3

Big Sky) with Blair Townsend catching 13 balls for 152 yards and a

score. Jameer Jackson was the third receiver to go over 100 yards

receiving in the game for North Dakota, catching eight passes for

124 yards.

Quarterback Braden Hanson completed 42 of 61 passes, setting a

North Dakota single-game passing record with 660 yards, and had

five touchdowns to go along with his three interceptions. Hanson

broke John Bowenkamp’s school passing mark of 515 yards set in

2002.

North Dakota jumped out to an early 14-0 lead when Hanson hooked

up with Hardin on a 39-yard touchdown pass at the 8:24 mark in the

first quarter. The Hanson-led offense kept North Dakota ahead of

the Grizzlies for most of the game until Shay Smithwick-Hann found

Ellis Henderson in the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown strike with

6:05 to go in the third quarter, giving the Grizzlies their first

lead of the night at 34-31.

Montana (3-5, 1-4) led 34-31 entering the fourth quarter before

North Dakota kicker Zeb Miller hit a 34-yard field goal to make it

34-34 with 2 minutes remaining. Stephen Shaw wound up punting on

the ensuing possession for the Grizzlies, giving Hanson and his

offense 39 seconds to get something done. Five plays later,

Hardin’s catch with 12 seconds to go broke the record and gave

North Dakota the lead for good.