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Big Sky: Montana upsets Northern Arizona, shakes up conference standings

Montana wide receiver Jerry Louie-McGee returns a punt for a touchdown against Northern Arizona in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Missoula, Mont. Louie-McGee was a high school star at Lake City. (Patrick Record / Associated Press)
Montana wide receiver Jerry Louie-McGee returns a punt for a touchdown against Northern Arizona in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Missoula, Mont. Louie-McGee was a high school star at Lake City. (Patrick Record / Associated Press)

Makena Simis had 101 yards rushing on 19 carries and Jerry Louie-McGee (Lake City High) had a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown to help Montana beat Northern Arizona 17-15 on Saturday in Missoula to snap the Lumberjacks’ six-game win streak.

Simis, a redshirt senior, moved from quarterback to receiver after the 2015 season but came into the week as the backup quarterback. He entered the game after the first drive and was 6-of-15 passing for 44 yards with one interception.

With less than a minute left, Northern Arizona’s Stone Smartt scampered around the edge, dove and touched the pylon for a 2-yard touchdown that made it 17-15 with 50 seconds left. On the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt, he rolled right and had a wide open receiver in the back of the end zone, but threw behind his target.

Montana (6-3, 4-2 Big Sky Conference) recovered the onside kick to seal it. Northern Arizona fell to 6-3, 5-1.

Southern Utah 47, North Dakota 21: Jay Green scored on three short runs and the Thunderbirds (7-2, 5-1) ran their win streak to five straight, pulling away from the Fighting Hawks (3-7, 2-5) in the second half at Cedar City, Utah.

Southern Utah is tied with Weber State and Northern Arizona atop the conference standings with two games remaining, but owns a win over the Wildcats and host the Lumberjacks in the season finale.

Sacramento State 50, Northern Colorado 21: Roman Ale threw two touchdown passes, Eijah Dotson ran for two more scores and the Hornets (5-4, 4-2 Big Sky) defeated the Bears (2-6, 0-4) in Sacramento, California.

Cal Poly 35, Portland State 28: Jared Mohamed had a career-high 194 yards rushing with two TD runs and the Mustangs (1-8, 1-5 Big Sky) got their first victory of the season while keeping the visiting Vikings (0-9, 0-6) winless.

UC Davis 56, Idaho State 17: Jake Maier threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns on 29-of-40 passing and Justin Williams ran for 92 yards and two scores as the Aggies (5-4, 3-3 Big Sky) cruised past the Bengals (4-6, 2-5) in Pocatello.

Kennesaw State 16, Montana State 14: Justin Thompson kicked three field goals, the last one a 37-yarder with 1:55 to play, and the Owls (8-1) won their eighth straight game, defeating the Bobcats (5-4) in Bozeman.