Craig Ochs passed for 204 yards and three touchdowns, and Montana forced four turnovers in a 34-13 victory over Sam Houston State in a Division 1-AA semifinal game yesterday in Missoula, Mont.
The Grizzlies (12-2) avenged a 41-29 regular-season loss to Sam Houston (11-3) and reached the national championship game for the fifth time in 10 years.
Montana, the national champion in 1995 and 2001, will face James Madison, a 48-34 winner over William & Mary Friday night in the other semifinal.
Tuff Harris set up Montana's first two touchdowns with interceptions, and the Grizzlies sacked quarterback Dustin Long six times.
Valdosta St. 36, Pittsburg St. 31 -- The Blazers rallied to win their first NCAA Division 2 championship, with Fabian Walker throwing two TD passes and running for another score in the win over the Gorillas in Florence, Ala. Valdosta State (13-1) forced four turnovers and held Pittsburg State (14-1) to 371 yards total offense -- 243 below the Gorillas' average. The Blazers intercepted two passes and recovered two fumbles.
Mary Hardin-Baylor 38, Mt. Union 35 -- Freshman Josh Welch threw a 24-yard TD pass to Walter Sharp on fourth down with 49 seconds to play in Alliance, Ohio, as the Crusaders (13-1) handed the Purple Raiders just their third loss in 123 games and advanced to the Division 3 championship game.
Linfield 52, Rowan 0 -- Brett Elliott broke the NCAA single-season TD record, throwing for 254 yards and three scores to help the Wildcats (12-0) rout the Profs in the other Division 3 semifinal in McMinnville, Ore.
Alabama St. 40, Southern 35 -- Keldrick Williams ran for four second-half TDs, including the game-winner from 3 yards out with 6:23 remaining, to lead Alabama State (10-2) to a comeback win in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game in Birmingham, Ala.