Scores

Final

Northern Iowa 10

(10-3, 7-1 MVC)

Montana 48

(11-2, 7-1 Big Sky)

Coverage: ESPN

8:00 PM ET, December 9, 2011

1 2 3 4 T
UNI 7 3 0 010
MONT 7 21 7 1348

Top Performers

Passing: J. Johnson (MONT) - 196 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Johnson (MONT) - 10 CAR, 86 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: S. Gratton (MONT) - 4 REC, 90 YDS, 2 TD

Jordan Johnson leads Montana to mauling of Northern Iowa in FCS playoffs

Associated Press

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Jordan Johnson put on a show Friday night in leading Montana to a 48-10 victory over Northern Iowa in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals. And his coach wasn't the least bit surprised.

"Jordy did exactly what I envisioned him doing when he came to Montana," said coach Robin Pflugrad. "He can make plays in so many ways. It's like having a running back, wide receiver and quarterback all in one player. I credit him for our offensive success."

Johnson threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Montana advanced to next weekend's semifinals.

Fourth-seeded Montana (11-2) will square off against the winner of Saturday's game between Montana State and Sam Houston State.

"(Johnson's) maturity and development have been off the charts the last five or six games," Pflugrad said.

Johnson completed 13 of 20 passes for 196 yards and repeatedly eluded the Panthers defense in rushing for 86 yards on 10 carries. The sophomore quarterback led the Grizzlies to five touchdowns in five trips into the Northern Iowa red zone.

"We put a huge emphasis on when we get into the red zone, we need to score touchdowns," Johnson said. "I'm very happy we executed in the red zone."

Fifth-seeded Northern Iowa (10-3) got on the board first when Tirrell Rennie connected with Jarred Herring on a 27-yard touchdown pass.

But it was all Grizzlies the rest of the way..

Touchdown runs by Jordan Canada, Johnson and Peter Nguyen and a 5-yard pass from Johnson to Kavario Middleton with 30 seconds left in the half sent Montana to the locker room with a 28-10 lead.

It was more of the same in the second half. Johnson connected with Sam Gratton on scoring tosses of 8 and 25 yards, and Donny Lisowski returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown to round out the scoring.

"Their quarterback is what broke it open," said Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley. "He created big plays for his football team. His ability to move and run the ball was the difference."

The Grizzlies outgained the Panthers 463 to 257 yards in total offense. Montana's defense also stepped up, racking up five sacks and three interceptions and limiting Rennie to 93 yards passing.

Gratton hauled in four passes for 90 yards to pace Montana's aerial attack.

Northern Iowa's defense was led by linebacker L.J. Fort with a game-high 17 tackles.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UNI
MONT
1st Downs1120
Total Yards257463
Passing106196
Rushing151267
Penalties3-183-27
3rd Down Conversions5-167-13
4th Down Conversions0-00-1
Turnovers30
Possession30:1229:48

Passing Leaders

Northern IowaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Rennie9/19934.912
MontanaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Johnson13/201969.830

Rushing Leaders

Northern IowaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson46817.0063
Rennie22512.3016
MontanaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson10868.6123
Nguyen7578.1137

Receiving Leaders

Northern IowaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Herring56713.4127
Howard11414.0014
MontanaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gratton49022.5231
Moutra35618.7024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUNIMONT
TD09:22Jarred Herring 27 Yd Pass From Tirrell Rennie (Tyler Sievertsen Kick) 70
TD00:06Jordan Canada 1 Yd Run (Brody Mcknight Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERUNIMONT
TD10:50Jordan Johnson 6 Yd Run (Brody Mcknight Kick) 714
FG08:22Tyler Sievertsen 21 Yd 1014
TD04:26Peter Nguyen 10 Yd Run (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1021
TD00:30Kavario Middleton 5 Yd Pass From Jordan Johnson (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1028
THIRD QUARTERUNIMONT
TD12:09Sam Gratton 8 Yd Pass From Jordan Johnson (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1035
FOURTH QUARTERUNIMONT
TD10:43Sam Gratton 25 Yd Pass From Jordan Johnson (Pat Failed) 1041
TD08:56Donny Lisowski 35 Yd Interception Return (Brody Mcknight Kick) 1048