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Bulldogs Defeat Eastern Oregon 38-14 in Season Opener

UMW Sports Press Release


LA GRANDE, Ore. — The Montana Western Football team opened the 2023 season with a 38-

14 victory over the Eastern Oregon University Mounties.


“Really proud of the effort the team gave. It was not the cleanest game we could play, but we

stayed the course, learned from mistakes and made it happen,” Head Coach Ryan Nourse

commented. “We are impressed with how well our new players played; it bodes well for us as a team. We will need to improve over the next week and this win gives us a chance at it.”



How It Happened

Eastern Oregon moved the ball early on the Bulldogs in the first quarter, driving down the field

and running seven minutes off the clock. Despite the drive, the Bulldogs were the first to put

points on the board after UMW kicker John Mears put a 20-yard field goal through the uprights.


The Bulldogs wasted little time in the second quarter as quarterback Michael Palandri connected with receiver Jon Kirkley for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the season.


Though unable to score, the Bulldog defense showed its veteran leadership as they continued to shut down the Mounties throughout the second quarter. Bryer Monson recorded his second sack of the game on fourth down to force the end of a five-minute EOU drive and head into the half on a positive note.


Once settled in, Palandri and the Bulldog offense began to click. Palandri connected with redhisrt freshman Dylan Shipley on the first play of the second half for an 81-yard touchdown pass.



The Bulldogs scored on the following possession after Palandri threaded the needle to freshman receiver Eli Nourse for his first career touchdown reception, stretching the lead to 24-0.


Despite the deficit, the Mounties were able to string together a scoring drive to bring the score to 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter.


Following an unsuccessful first drive of the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs, linebacker Braden

Smith intercepted EOU’s Quincy Glasper on UMW’s 40-yard line, sparking the UMW offense

and special teams.


Palandri quickly connected with Kirkley in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown

reception of the game. The following kickoff took a Bulldog bounce and was recovered by

freshman Landon Charlton.


Three plays later, redshirt freshman Jake Humphrey punched it in for the final Bulldog

touchdown of the game.


EOU capped off the scoring with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Glasper.


Montana Western held the Mounties on their final drive, which featured Monson’s third sack of

the game. The Bulldogs claimed victory by a score of 38-14.



Notables

• The Bulldogs amassed a total of 433 yards, with Palandri throwing for 329 yards. His

career high featured 17 out of 26 pass completions, four touchdowns, and one

interception.

• Shipley led the Bulldog receiving corps with four receptions for 104 receiving yards and

one touchdown. Kirkley picked up two touchdowns on 79 yards.

• Defensively, Monson had a day after totaling seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss with three

sacks and forcing EOU to a loss of 20 yards.

• UMW kicker John Mears was a perfect 5-5 on PATs and hit a 20-yard field goal for the

Bulldogs.


Up Next

The Bulldogs hit the road again for their first conference matchup of the season. They will be

taking on the No. 12 ranked College of Idaho in Caldwell next weekend. The Bulldogs enter the matchup 1-0 and the Yotes enter 2-0 on the season.

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