BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP)Tommy Mellott ran for three touchdowns and threw for a fourth and Isaiah Ifanse ran for 162 yards and two scores as Montana State drilled William & Mary, 55-7 in a Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game on a 17-degree Friday night.
The Bobcats (12-1) advance to the semifinals and a potential rematch with South Dakota State, which faces Holy Cross in a quarterfinal match-up Saturday. Montana State knocked off the Jackrabbits, 31-17 in a semifinal matchup in 2021 and advanced to face North Dakota State for the national title before losing.
Mellott spearheaded an offense that posted 473 yards of total offense, 328 of it on the ground. Montana State’s defense forced William & Mary to punt 10 times and the Bobcats’ punt-return squad had 143 yards and a touchdown on a 79-yard return by Taco Dowler.
Mellott scored the game’s first touchdown on the final play of the first quarter, skirting the left end and racing 22 yards down the sideline to make it 10-0. After holding the Tribe to a three-and-out, Ifanse raced 68 yards untouched to the end zone to make it 17-0. Ifanse, who missed the entire regular season with an injury, had 153 yards in the first half and became the all-time leading rusher in Montana State history.
Blake Glessner kicked a pair of first-half field goals, including a 50-yarder in the second quarter.
Marqui Johnson took the kickoff to start the second half and raced 87 yards before slipping on the frozen turf at the William & Mary 9 and Infanse need one play to get into the end zone to make it 34-0 20-seconds into the second half.
William & Mary (11-2) avoided being shutout with a 10-play, 84-yard drive capped by a 2-yard run by Bronson Yoder with 3:11 left.
Yoder finished with 122 yards on 26 carries to lead the Tribe, who finished with 135 yards on the ground. Darius Wilson was 7 of 18 passing for 62 yards with an interception.
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