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NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - QUARTERFINAL
Sam Houston StateBearkatsSHSU
10-3, 5-3 Away
34
Final
ESPN21234T
SHSU3177734
MTST306716
16
Montana StateBobcatsMTST
11-2, 6-2 Home

Brian Bell leads Sam Houston State into FCS semifinals

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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2015 Southland Conference Standings

TEAMCONFOVR
McNeese State9-010-1
Sam Houston State7-211-4
Central Arkansas7-27-4
Incarnate Word5-46-5
Lamar4-55-6
Northwestern State4-54-7
Stephen F Austin4-54-7
Southeastern Louisiana3-5-14-6-1
Abilene Christian3-63-8
Nicholls State2-6-12-8-1
Houston Baptist0-82-9

2015 Big Sky Conference Standings

TEAMCONFOVR
Southern Utah7-18-4
Portland State6-29-3
Montana6-28-5
North Dakota5-37-4
Northern Arizona5-37-4
Eastern Washington5-36-5
Weber State5-36-5
Northern Colorado3-56-5
Montana State3-55-6
Cal Poly3-54-7
UC Davis2-62-9
Idaho State1-72-9
Sacramento State1-72-9