Dalton Sneed ran for one score and threw for another, helping Montana hold off Northern Iowa for a 26-23 win on Saturday night in Bobby Hauck’s first game back as Montana’s coach in Missoula.
Hauck, who guided the Grizzlies (1-0) to Big Sky Conference titles in each of his seven seasons as the helm from 2003-09, saw his defense hold Northern Iowa to 47 total yards in the first half. Sneed tore off a 17-yard scramble to give the Grizzlies a 6-0 lead about 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
Sneed, who transferred from Fort Scott Community College after beginning his college career UNLV, hit Samori Toure with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left in the first quarter, making it 16-0.
The lead grew to 26-0 by halftime on a 25-yard double-pass from Keenan Curran to tight end Colin Bingham, and a 31-yard field goal from Tim Semenza as the second quarter ended.
Northern Iowa (0-1), ranked No. 13 in the FCS, got on the board when backup quarterback Colton Howell sneaked in from 1-yard out with 1:57 left in the third quarter.
North Dakota State 49, Cal Poly 3: Bruce Anderson ran for a career-high 185 yards on just 11 carries and scored two touchdowns as the Bison trounced the Mustangs in Fargo, North Dakota.
Anderson had a 10-yard touchdown run in the first half, and early in third quarter broke through the middle and ran untouched along the right sideline for a career-best 86-yard score that gave the Bison a 42-3 lead. Anderson had rushed for 183 yards, including a previous career-long 62-yard score, in last season’s FCS semifinal against Sam Houston State.
Lance Dunn, who last season was on a program-record pace with 12 rushing touchdowns before missing seven games with a hip injury, ran for three touchdowns and finished with 65 yards on six carries.
McNeese State 17, Northern Colorado 14: James Tabary threw for 206 yards and the Cowboys’ defense held off a late charge by the Bears in Greeley, Colorado.
McNeese led 17-0 after three quarters but managed just 16 yards in the final stanza as Northern Colorado rallied. Jacob Knipp hit Patrick Stephens on a 27-yard scoring strike to make it 17-7 with 5:58 remaining. Two plays later Sherand Boyd Jr. intercepted Tabary, flipped the ball back as he was being tackled and Michael Walker ran the ball into the end zone to close the gap to 17-14.
Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10: Case Cookus and Emmanuel Butler combined on two touchdowns as the Lumberjacks continued the Miners’ winless streak from last season in El Paso, Texas.
UTEP opened its 101st football season under new coach Dana Dimel. The Miners last won a game when they rolled over North Texas 52-24 in the 2016 season finale.
North Alabama 34, Southern Utah 30: Christian Lopez tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dexter Boykin with 12 seconds remaining and the Lions won its first game played as an FCS member over the Thunderbirds in Cedar City, Utah.
The Lions moved from Division II and will compete in the ASUN Conference.
North Alabama trailed 23-20 late in the fourth quarter when Lopez hit Boykin with a 31-yard touchdown strike with 4:47 remaining.
Sacramento State 55, St. Francis 7: Elijah Dotson scored on a 73-yard touchdown run on Sacramento State’s third play from scrimmage as the Hornets scored 31 first-half points and routed the NAIA Cougars in Sacramento, California.
Dotson added a 4-yard run in the second quarter and had 85 yards rushing on seven carries in the first half. Kevin Thomson threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes and finished 11-of-12 passing for 224 yards. Ja’Narrick James ran for two touchdowns and Darnay Smith ran for another score for the Hornets. Aaron Ellis tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Ruffin in the third quarter for St. Francis.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review's sports newsletter
Get the day's top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.