BOZEMAN, Mont. – Freeport native Steve McShane came up big in the season opener for Western Illinois, but his Leathernecks fell just short to Montana State, 26-23, Thursday night.
McShane carried the ball 11 times for 76 yards with a touchdown, and also caught six passes for 40 yards with two more receiving touchdowns. That gives him 116 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in the game.
The former Pretzel scored his first touchdown of the game midway through the first quarter with a three-yard run and a 7-0 Leathernecks lead. He added an 18-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to help WIU get off to a 13-6 halftime lead.
The teams traded scores in the second half, with McShane catching a two-yard pass in the third quarter to put the Leathernecks up 20-13.
But Tristan Bailey’s 35-yard field goal with about four minutes remaining in the game put Montana State up for good.
Next up, Western Illinois takes on Illinois in Champaign, Sept. 8.