Scores

Final

Sam Houston 34

(10-3, 6-1 Southland)

Montana State 16

(11-2, 7-1 Big Sky)

Coverage: ESPN2

8:00 PM ET, December 7, 2012

Bobcat Stadium, BOZEMAN, MT

1 2 3 4 T
SHSU 3 17 7 734
MTST 3 0 6 716

Top Performers

Passing: B. Bell (SHSU) - 254 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: T. Flanders (SHSU) - 31 CAR, 106 YDS

Receiving: C. Nelson (SHSU) - 5 REC, 89 YDS, 2 TD

Brian Bell leads Sam Houston State into FCS semifinals

Associated Press

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Brian Bell threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns and Sam Houston State cruised to a 34-16 FCS playoff quarterfinal win over Montana State on Friday night.

The Bearkats (10-3) took advantage of Jon Ellis' fumble on a first down reception to take control of the game late in the third quarter. Montana State (11-2) had cut Sam Houston State's lead to 20-9 on its first drive of the second half only to see the turnover set up a short field and a touchdown pass from Bell to Chance Nelson giving the Bearkats a 27-9 lead.

The Bobcats were dealt a blow early when senior linebacker, and Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year, Jody Owens was injured and didn't return.

Montana State was also without the services of its leading rusher Cody Kirk for most of the game.

Bearkats running back Tim Flanders had 106 yards on 31 carries.

Richard Sincere scored on a 12-yard run for the Bearkats in the second quarter. Trey Diller scored on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Bell, and Miguel Antonio tacked on a field goal to complete the first half scoring and give the Bearkats a 20-3 lead.

Sam Houston will face the winner between Eastern Washington and Illinois State.

Sam Houston State eliminated Montana State in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. Last season, at home in Huntsville, the Bearkats routed the Bobcats 49-13.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SHSU
MTST
1st Downs2212
Total Yards458292
Passing254220
Rushing20472
Penalties5-346-29
3rd Down Conversions6-141-12
4th Down Conversions0-22-2
Turnovers02
Possession36:0024:00

Passing Leaders

Sam Houston StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bell11/2125412.130
Montana StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
McGhee16/292207.611

Rushing Leaders

Sam Houston StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Flanders311063.4027
Bell5336.6011
Montana StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
McGhee13362.8133
Davis5142.806

Receiving Leaders

Sam Houston StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Diller310434.7156
Nelson58917.8245
Montana StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bleskin47619.0043
Ellis66711.2119

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSHSUMTST
FG06:26Miguel Antonio 24 Yd 30
FG00:49Rory Perez 27 Yd 33
SECOND QUARTERSHSUMTST
TD12:29Richard Sincere 12 Yd Run (Miguel Antonio Kick) 103
TD09:41Trey Diller 56 Yd Pass From Brian Bell (Miguel Antonio Kick) 173
FG00:00Miguel Antonio 18 Yd 203
THIRD QUARTERSHSUMTST
TD09:10DeNarius McGhee 8 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 209
TD02:49Chance Nelson 16 Yd Pass From Brian Bell (Miguel Antonio Kick) 279
FOURTH QUARTERSHSUMTST
TD12:18Chance Nelson 45 Yd Pass From Brian Bell (Miguel Antonio Kick) 349
TD05:25Jon Ellis 12 Yd Pass From DeNarius McGhee (Rory Perez Kick) 3416

Research Notes

In last year's quarterfinal matchup, Montana State outgained Sam Houston State by 8 yards in the first quarter and trailed 7-3. In the last three quarters, the Bobcats were outscored 42-10 as the Bearkats outgained them by 160 yards. Playing at home this time around, Montana State outgained Sam Houston State by 19 yards in the first quarter as the game was tied 3-3. In the second quarter, the Bearkats gained 205 yards to the Bobcats 13 as Sam Houston State raced to a 17-point halftime lead.

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