FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Jordan Canada made a 46-yard run for the winning touchdown to lift Montana over Northern Arizona 28-24 on Saturday.
The Grizzlies (6-2, 5-1 Big Sky) were down 24-21 late in the game after Matt Myers gave the Lumberjacks (2-5, 1-4) the lead with a 40-yard field goal.
But a long kick return by Peter Nguyen set up Canada for the touchdown with 4:26 remaining. Northern Arizona made it to the Grizzlies’ 44-yard line before turning over on downs in the ensuing drive.
Canada ran for 98 yards and two touchdowns while Jordan Johnson threw for with 216 yards and a touchdown for the Grizzlies.
Zach Bauman ran for 148 yards and a touchdown as Cary Grossart threw for 321 yards and 2 TDs for the Lumberjacks.
Things started well for Northern Arizona, which scored on its first two possessions. The first was a 77-yard touchdown pass from Grossart to Khalil Paden. Then after holding to Grizzlies to 15 yards on the following drive, the Lumberjacks drove 79 yards as Bauman ran for a 37-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Northern Arizona stalled the rest of the way until the fourth quarter when Grossart found Paden down the middle and scored from 51 yards to tie it at 21.
The Grizzlies came alive in the second quarter, scoring on consecutive 80- and 75-yard drives to tie the game just before halftime. Johnson connected with Nguyen on a 20-yard screen pass to cap the longer drive and Canada later scored from 1-yard out with 37 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies took the lead on an 80-yard reverse by Jabin Sambrano late in the third and sacked the Lumberjack quarterback three times on the following drive to take control of the game.
Johnson was briefly injured with an apparent ankle injury on the first play of scrimmage in the second half. Nate Montana, son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, saw one series before Johnson came back into the game.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.