MISSOULA, Mont. – Brady Gustafson threw for two touchdowns and Montana held off South Dakota State 24-17 in a Football Championship Subdivision first-round playoff game Saturday.
Gustafson threw for 202 yards to spark the Grizzlies (8-4) to a 24-0 halftime lead.
The Grizzlies head to four-time national champion North Dakota State for a quarterfinal game next Saturday. Montana beat then-No. 1 NDSU 38-35 on Aug. 29 in Missoula on a 1-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal with 2 seconds left.
South Dakota State controlled the pace in the second half, getting a touchdown pass and scoring run from quarterback Taryn Christion.
The Jackrabbits closed to 24-17 when Christion hit Dallas Goedert for 30 yards and the score with 4:44 left in the game. Montana, with John Nguyen pushing his rushing total to 107 yards, then ran out the clock.
The Jackrabbits ended their season with an 8-4 overall mark in making their fourth consecutive appearance in the postseason.
Christion completed 18 of 43 attempts for 230 yards and was the Jackrabbits' leading rusher with 54 yards on 19 carries. Jake Wieneke had six catches for 128 yards as he posted his eighth 100-yard game of the season and the 15th of his career.
T.J. Lally racked up a game-high 14 tackles to lead the Jackrabbits, followed by seven from Dallas Brown.
Montana tallied 11 tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks by Tyrone Holmes.
North Dakota State is the No. 3 overall seed in the playoffs. This is the Bison's sixth straight appearance in the FCS playoffs.