MACOMB, Ill. -- Logan Jones ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns and Montana State defeated Western Illinois 23-14 on Saturday.
Jones, a senior who more than doubled his career rushing total of 152 yards, started in place of injured Isaiah Ifanse. Jones opened the scoring with a 14-yard run in the first quarter and added MSU's only other touchdown on an 87-yard jaunt in the third quarter.
The game was tied at 7 at halftime before MSU (No. 15 in FCS Coaches' Poll) scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, the touchdown coming on Jones' long run. Western Illinois cut it to 17-14 on a 3-yard run by Jared Drake that capped an 8-play, 75-yard drive.
Western Illinois (0-3) drove toward a go-ahead score and reached the MSU 25 before the Bobcats' Damien Washington intercepted a pass by Connor Sampson. Montana State (2-1) drove deep into Leathernecks territory but WIU held for a field goal and again drove for the potential go-ahead score. The Leathernecks reached the MSU 13-yard line, but offensive holding and two incomplete passes left them facing 4th-and-14 from the 18. They settled for a 35-yard field-goal attempt that was missed by Nathan Erickson.
Montana State took possession with 6:57 remaining and drove to the WIU 30, facing 4th-and-5 with 2:45 to go. Tristan Bailey, who was good on all three of his tries, kicked a 47-yard field goal for the final margin.
Sampson was 18 of 35 for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
MSU's Casey Bauman was 16 of 30 for 149 yards.
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Jequez Ezzard catches a short pass and breaks free for a 35-yard touchdown.
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