September 24, 2017 05:01 GMT by foxsports.com

Gubrud throws for 549 yards, sparks EWU over Montana 48-41 (Sep 24, 2017)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Gage Gubrud threw for a program-record 549 yards and four touchdowns, keying a second-half comeback in Eastern Washington’s 48-41 win over Montana on Saturday night in a Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.

The Eagles (2-2, 1-0) trailed 24-6 after a mistake-filled first half, capped by Montana’s 44-yard TD pass from Gresch Jensen to Justin Calhoun as the half ended.

Gubrud, who also ran for a touchdown, sandwiched touchdown passes to Sam McPherson around a 32-yarder to Dre’ Sonte Dorton.

McPherson’s second touchdown catch on a 50-yard throw from Gubrud tied the game at 27-27.

Montana (2-2, 0-1) jumped back in front on a 14-yard scoring run from Alijah Lee, but Eastern Washington scored the next 21 points. Gubrud’s 3-yard scoring run tied it, and he tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Nic Sblendorio to put the Eagles up for good, 41-34, with 6:49 left.

Eastern’s final score came on a 10-yard run from Antoine Custer, Jr., after Montana gave up the ball on downs at its own 20.

Gubrud, a junior, also had a 24-yard scoring pass to Brandon Purdy in the first half. Sblendorio had 18 catches for 189 yards.

Jensen, a redshirt freshman making his first start in place of injured Reese Phillips, threw for 358 yards and two scores. He had a 2-yard run to cap a 78-yard drive to give Montana a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter. The Griz stretched the lead to 14-3 after Jeremy Calhoun scored from two yards out with 3:05 to play in the first.

Jensen’s second touchdown pass went to Sammy Akem with 50 seconds left in the game. Montana tried to onside kick but it went out of bounds.

THE TAKEAWAY

EASTERN WASHINGTON: It was a big road test for the Eagles, who dominated the second half with 397 yards of offense. Gubrud threw for 331 yards the second half, including 219 yards in the third quarter.

MONTANA: The Grizzlies’ offense faltered in the second half, leaving a defense that came up with a fumble and interception but still ran out of gas. Montana linebacker Josh Buss had 17 tackles and a sack.

UP NEXT

EASTERN WASHINGTON: The Eagles stay in Big Sky Conference play with a home game against Sacramento State on Saturday.

MONTANA: The Grizzlies take to the road for a conference game against Portland State on Saturday.

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

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