Engineering a dominating performance and being part of the longest scoring play from scrimmage in school history? That's a pretty good evening!

University of Montana Sports Information Director Eric Table tells us that today (Monday), Grizzly quarterback Clifton McDowell was named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week. He also earned a national honorable mention for the Stats Perform Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)  Offensive Player of the Week.

Playing every offensive snap, Clifton helped the Griz to get to 8-1 on the season Saturday night by passing for 218 yards and two touchdowns, running for a career-high 83 yards and even catching a pass for 24 additional yards to total 325 in Saturday’s lopsided 34-7 win over then-7th-ranked Sacramento State.

Part of that passing performance included the clutch throw of the game. Leading 21-7 in the fourth quarter and backed up to Montana's own 3 yard line, Clifton dropped back into the end zone and delivered a deep pass into a ferocious wind and dropped it right into the hands of receiver Keelan White about 35 yards downfield. Keelan did the rest, outrunning the Hornet defense for a 97-yard touchdown pass, the longest in school history.

While that pass was a beautiful "rainbow", it still pales in comparison to the one over Washington-Grizzly Stadium just before kickoff Saturday night.




In other weekly accolade news, running back Eli Gillman also received an honorable mention for a Stats Perform FCS award, this one for Freshman of the Week. Eli posted his second-straight 100-yard rushing game and his third of the season with 113 yards on the ground and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 20 yards to give him a career-high 133 yards of total offense.


The Griz stayed at No. 3 in the weekly coaches poll and moved up to No. 3 in the media poll. Regardless of how well Montana plays the next two Saturdays, it may be tough to move ahead of the two teams in front of them, South Dakota State and Furman, as both of those teams will be heavily favored to win their final two regular-season games.

But there's still lots of business to take care of between now and then. The next task at hand for the Griz is a trip to Portland State to take on the Vikings this Saturday. We will be on the air at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) for the two-hour pregame show ahead of the 7:00 p.m. kickoff. You can follow the Griz on the flagship radio station, News/Talk KGVO, 98.3 FM and 1290 AM, as well as the KGVO website and app.

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Photos courtesy of Eric Warren.

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