Phillips throws 4 TD passes to lift Montana past Valpo 45-23

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Kentucky transfer Reese Phillips threw three of his four second-half touchdowns in a span of six offensive plays to lead Montana to a 45-23 win over Valparaiso in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday.

The senior capped a nine-play drive with a 14-yard strike to Samori Toure to put the Grizzlies up 24-13 in the third quarter. He hooked up with Keenan Curran on a 45-yard score on third down of the next possession and Jerry Louie-McGee for 25 yards on second down of the next series to make it 38-13.

Louie-McGee, who had nine catches for 159 yards, also hauled in Phillips’ fourth TD pass, a 17-yarder with 5:50 to play.

Phillips, who never started at Kentucky, was 27 of 38 for 381 yards and one interception. The Grizzlies finished with 538 yards of offense to run their season-opening home winning streak to 14 games.

Jeremy Calhoun ran for two touchdowns in the first half to give Montana a 17-13 lead.

Backup quarterback Chris Duncan threw for two touchdowns for the Crusaders, who had 450 yards on offense. Dimitrois Latsonas kicked three field goals.