The Sam Houston State Bearkats faced off against the Montana Grizzlies on Friday night in the semifinals of the 2011 FCS Playoffs. While the Bearkats looked to have things well in hand during the early going, the end result was a close game that came down to the final quarter. With a win by a final score of 31-28, the Bearkats have punched their ticket to the FCS Finals.
Sam Houston State jumped out to an enormous 21-0 lead in the first quarter on rushing touchdowns by Brian Bell and Tim Flanders and a TD pass from Bell to Grant Merritt. The Montana offense woke up after that, however, with the Grizzlies defense steadily shutting down the Bearkats while managing to close the gap to 31-28 in the final quarter.
Sam Houston managed to hang on for the win, however, which sets them up to face the winner of Saturday's game between the Georgia Southern Eagles and the North Dakota State Bison.
Quarterback Bell finished the game going 10-for-14 with 113 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and an interception. He also picked up 25 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Flanders wound up with 276 rushing yards on 26 carries. His 69 yard touchdown was his longest carry of the game.
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