MILES CITY — Jesse Owens of Billings West had three second-half touchdown receptions, two from quarterback Kris Brown of Bozeman, as Montana rallied for a 41-14 victory over North Dakota in the 26th annual Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl football game on Saturday evening.
Brown and Owens had TD strikes of 20 and 37, which tied the game and gave Montana the lead for good.
Quarterback Blake Thelen (Great Falls High) and Owens connected on the other, a 32-yard TD play.
Brown teamed up with with Camron Rothie (Hamilton) in the third quarter on a 37-yard touchdown pass for Montana’s first score.
Trevin Gradney (Billings West) returned an interception 40 yards and Zach Spiroff (Helena High) followed with a 70 yard punt return for Montana’s final two scores.
North Dakota led 14-0 at intermission.
Montana leads the series 20-6 and has won the last five.
Five players from Kalispell were on the Montana roster — Ethan Baines, Nico Young and Preston Blaine of Glacier and Sebastian Koch and Jaden MacNeil of Flathead.
North Dakota 0 14 0 0 — 14
Montana 0 0 14 27 — 41
North Dakota: Cade Busek 1 run (Evan Arenz kick); Luke Lennon 6 interception return (Arenz kick).
Montana: Camron Rothie 35 pass from Kris Brown (Wyatt Brusven kick); Jesse Owens 20 pass from Brown (Brusven kick); Owens 37 pass from Brown (Brusven kick); Owens 32 pass from Blake Thelen (kick fail); Trevin Gradney 40 interception return (Brusven kick); Zach Spiroff 70-yard punt return (Brusven kick).