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
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
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.