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Peter Nguyen put up career numbers in Grizzlies victory

Peter Nguyen rushed for a career-best 149 yards to spark a University of Montana offense that lost quarterback Jordan Johnson to a first-quarter elbow injury.

Backup QB Kemp hit Sam Gratton (7 catches, 85 yards) and Sambrano with passes, but it was Nguyen – playing while injured backs Dan Moore, Beau Donaldson and Jordan Canada looked on – who sparked things with runs of 9 and 14 yards.

“I was really excited,” said the junior running back. “It’s different not having Jordan or Dan, or Beau. I was looking forward to it, and it was great to play more.”

Nguyen picked up 6 more yards when Pflugrad eschewed another field goal attempt and went for it on fourth-and-1 from Western’s 7.

The Griz scored on the next play to go up 22-7, but the TD came from freshman Brett Kirschner. Nguyen had been dazed by a big hit on the sideline.

“He just hit me in a good spot, on my side,” he said.

The Griz are thankful for a bye week ahead of the 111th Brawl of the Wild.

“The time is here to start preparing,” said Pflugrad. “First and foremost we have to get healthy. As Peter said, a lot of his buddies in the running back stable are sidelined, and that’s a group that needs to heal up.

“Because when Peter went down on that sideline it was like, ‘Peter, you can’t go down.’ That was our whole mentality: ‘That’s not acceptable.’ “

The atmosphere will slowly build for the Griz over the next two weeks, ahead of what will be the Big Sky’s title game against the No. 2 Bobcats.

“It’s probably the biggest game of the season for us,” Nguyen said. “We have a couple extra days to prepare for them, and we’re just going to come ready.”

Fritz Neighbor can be reached at 523-5247 or at fneighbor@missoulian.com.

via Feet of glory: McKnight, Nguyen put up career numbers in Griz victory.

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