Despite the best efforts of quarterback Tim Jenkins and wide receiver Justin Johnson, Fort Lewis College was overwhelmed by Football Championship Subdivision foe Montana State 59-10 on Saturday in Bozeman, Mont.
Theyre going to be really, really good, FLC first-year coach Cesar Rivas said about MSU after his teams season opener.
The Skyhawks (0-1) managed just 232 yards of total offense, compared to 532 yards for the Bobcats (1-0). Of those 232 yards, 161 came on 10 connections between Jenkins and Johnson, a preseason All-American.
Rivas knows that as good as that combination is, other receivers will have to step up soon. Dropped passes plagued the FLC receiving corps Saturday.
All those other guys are going to have to be crucial to our success, he said. They showed me they had a lot of toughness, and theyre quick, and theyre fast.
Freshman quarterback Denarius McGhee became the first Bobcat freshman to start under center in 23 years, and he threw for 178 yards in his debut, connecting on a 32-yard touchdown pass to fellow redshirt freshman Tanner Bleskin in the first quarter.
McGhee also found Elvis Akpla for a 51-yard score early in the third quarter to give the Bobcats a 42-3 lead.
Cody Kirk opened the scoring early with two touchdown runs in the first quarter on MSUs first two possessions, and the McGhee-to-Bleskin strike gave Montana State a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Fort Lewis got on the board when Richard Rodriguez kicked a 34-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-3.
C.J. Palmers touchdown run and Akplas touchdown reception from MSUs other quarterback, Cody Kempt, put the Bobcats up 35-3 at halftime. Kempt also threw a touchdown pass to Gianni Carter in the third quarter.
FLC finally found its way into the end zone in the fourth quarter when Justin Peters plunged in from a yard out.
Orenzo Davis, who led MSU with 87 yards rushing, capped the scoring with a 10-yard dash to the end zone.
Jenkins finished 19 of 35 for 216 yards. Peters, a former quarterback and listed as a wide receiver on the Skyhawks roster, led FLC with 14 yards rushing on seven carries.
Getting a look at MSU showed Rivas what proper planning and dedication can do for a program in a short time.
Its very telling to see what chemistry, work ethic and time do for a program, he said. It gives me hope; it really does.
FLC has next week off before opening play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a trip to Western New Mexico, with kickoff scheduled for noon Sept. 18 at Ben Altamirano Memorial Stadium in Silver City, N.M.
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