Comeback falls short; Panthers fall 26-23

Despite+shutting+out+Montana+23-0+in+the+second+half%2C+the+Panthers+were+unable+to+return+home+with+a+win%2C+falling+to+the+Grizzles+26-23.
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Comeback falls short; Panthers fall 26-23

Despite shutting out Montana 23-0 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to return home with a win, falling to the Grizzles 26-23.

Despite shutting out Montana 23-0 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to return home with a win, falling to the Grizzles 26-23.

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Despite shutting out Montana 23-0 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to return home with a win, falling to the Grizzles 26-23.

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Despite shutting out Montana 23-0 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to return home with a win, falling to the Grizzles 26-23.

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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The Panthers kicked off their 2018 football season this past weekend on the road in Missoula, Montana against the University of Montana Grizzlies.

The Panthers struggled in the first half of the game. The Grizzlies put up 26 points before a few in-game changes put the Panthers back in contention.

 Quarterback Eli Dunne completed only five of 20 pass attempts and was taken out in the third quarter in favor of backup Colton Howell. As soon as Howell was subbed in, the Panthers took pace and found their rhythm on offense. 

Howell would score the first touchdown for the Panthers this season, on a oneyard run in the third quarter. UNI would continue to push for a comeback in the fourth quarter. 

After a couple completions and a penalty on Montana, the Panthers were in perfect position to score on the Montana one yard line. Running back Marcus Weymiller scored on the ground for the Panthers, making the score 26-15 with 11:41 on the clock. 

UNI would force a punt with a little over nine minutes to go. The Panthers would stall on third and 19 and  were forced to punt. The Grizzlies could not get anything going and were forced to punt back to the purple and gold with only five minutes to go, giving the Panthers a shot at a comeback. 

Howell completed four of eight pass attempts, and the final completion ended in a touchdown reception by  wide reciever Nick Fossey. 

Bringing the score to 26-23 with 3:14 on the clock, the Grizzlies would just run the clock out and take the win. The Panthers rushed for a total of 134 yards on the ground with 40 attempts.

 UNI looks ahead to play the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sept. 15 in Iowa City.

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