BOZEMAN — With the game tied at 13 in the fourth quarter, Montana State University freshman Tommy Mellott punched in his third touchdown of the game to give the Bobcats a 20-13 edge over the University of Idaho (3-7, 2-5), which would prove to be enough.
“He certainly injected what we needed today as far as that running ability, in particular, when Isaiah [Ifanse] goes down," Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen said.
On Montana State's first drive of the game, the Butte native gave the Bobcats their first lead with a nine-yard keeper up the middle.
To start the second quarter, Matt McKay threw into heavy coverage with a pass intended for Lance McCutcheon, but Idaho's Marcus Harris picked him off on their 23-yard line. The Vandals then marched 63 yards downfield to set up Logan Prescott's 40-yard field goal to cut Montana State's lead 7-3.
Mellott answered for the Bobcats on their proceeding drive with a 23-yard rushing touchdown up the right sideline. Blake Glessner's kick was blocked on the extra point to keep it a 10-point game, 13-3.
"He’s certainly one of our top runners, and he’s going to find a way to make the first guy miss and find that end zone like he did three times today," Vigen added. " We still need to keep coming with him overall, but certainly appreciate his efforts.”
With just over thirty seconds left in the first half, Idaho had the ball on Montana State's 30-yard line. Quarterback Zach Borisch connected with Terez Traynor for a short pass,, which he ran in for the score to cut the Bobcats lead 13-10 at the half.
After missing a potential game-tying field goal on their opening drive in the second half, Idaho's Logan Prescott bounced back with a 46-yarder the following drive.
The Vandal defense held Montana State to a scoreless third quarter, but with just two minutes to go in the fourth, Mellott capped off a 37-yard drive for the Bobcats with a two-yard keeper for the hat trick performance.
“I guess today everything just kind of fell in line. Idaho played a good four quarters," freshman quarterback Tommy Mellott explained. "We just fought through. Everyone was just doing their one-eleventh, and at the end of the day I just try to do my one-eleventh, and a couple of times - they all added up.”
Montana State (9-1, 7-0) plays their last regular-season game of the season next Saturday in Missoula against Montana (8-2, 5-2) with kickoff set for noon.