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GALLERY: Bengals suffer gritty defeat against highly ranked rival

Sports

POCATELLO — Playing the No. 2-ranked team in the FCS and down their top two quarterbacks, the winless Bengals battled back from an early deficit and came a play or two shy of the upset, eventually falling 28-20.

Sophomore Sagan Gronauer got the start in place of injured signal-callers Tyler Vander Waal and Hunter Hays. The backup’s backup finished the day completing 23 of 44 pass attempts for one touchdown and one costly interception with the Bengals (0-5) driving late in the first half.

Head coach Charlie Ragle praised Gronauer’s performance following the loss.

“He played a hell of a football game,” Ragle said. “He gave us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask. I would dare people to play with their third-string quarterback and see what the results are. I promise you it wouldn’t be pretty for a lot of schools.”

The Grizzlies (5-0) turned the interception into a touchdown.

Following a three-and-out on the ensuing Bengal possession, what appeared to be a game-changing play on special teams turned into further frustration for Ragle and his team.

A booming punt off the foot of freshman kicker Ian Hershey appeared to deflect off the Montana return man. Gunner Xavier Guillory quickly scooped what he thought was a muffed punt to give his guys possession inside the Grizzly 15 yard line.

Following a discussion and a review, though, the officials ruled that the Montana player had not touched the bounding ball and gave possession to the Grizzlies.

Guillory said that he thought he saw the ball change directions off the Montana player’s hand in realtime.

“Definitely one I wish we could’ve gotten back, for sure,” he said thoughtfully.

Ragle was also careful not to question the officiating and potentially incur a fine.

“I’m assuming they made the right call. I certainly didn’t think it was,” he said. “That’s the difference in the game. … There was a lot of plays, but that’s a critical play that we’ll certainly want to look at.”

Montana turned that possession into another touchdown and a 28-6 halftime lead.

The Bengals scored the game’s final 14 points but saw their chance at win No. 1 come one score short.

ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022
ISU Bengals football. Oct. 1, 2022

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