Bobcats open season with 40-17 win over McNeese State

BOZEMAN — If there were any concerns of a championship game hangover, Lane Sumner and Montana State put them at ease as they rolled to a 40-17 win over McNeese State in front of 21,867 fans dressed in gold on Saturday night.

With Isaiah Ifanse sidelined, the Huntley native took over with 168 yards on the ground and another 50 yards through the air, while Wyoming transfer Sean Chambers added a pair of rushing touchdowns.

“First real time that Lane had the chance to be the guy and we felt confident in his ability to do so and he did it,” Cats Head Football Coach Brent Vigen said.

“It felt good,” Cats running back Lane Sumner said. “All credit to the boys up front they opened up the holes my job was just to hit them.”

The first quarter featured a combined five punts between the two teams as neither side could find the end zone.

Montana State opened the scoring to start the second quarter, as Chambers ran in the season’s first touchdown from three yards out. McNeese State responded quickly, as D’Angelo Durham broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

Both teams traded field goals, but the next McNeese drive drew the ire of Cats fans. After Cowboys QB Knox Kadum fumbled late in the quarter, officials ruled his knee was down, and McNeese settled for three, much to the chagrin of the Bozeman faithful.

The Cats offense was unfazed. They drove 75 yards down the field, capped off by a Tommy Mellott 17-yd touchdown pass to Willie Patterson, who made a beautiful toe