McGuire with 3 TDs leads W. Illinois past Montana 31-27

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — Sean McGuire threw for three touchdowns and Eric Carrera’s late interception preserved the lead as Western Illinois edged Montana 31-27 on Saturday.

The Leathernecks (1-2) were trailing 27-17 late in the fourth quarter when Steve McShane took a punt return 58 yards for a score, cutting it to 27-24. Zach Muniz recovered a Montana fumble on the next exchange, setting up an 11-yard scoring pass from McGuire to McShane six plays later, giving Western Illinois a 31-27 lead with 2:39 to play. Carrera’s interception of Dalton Sneed ended Montana’s final drive.

McGuire threw a 71-yard touchdown to John Brunner on the game’s second play and then, following a fumble recovery by Quentin Moon, a 37-yard strike again to Brunner to make it 14-0 with 12:47 left in the first quarter.

McGuire finished with 360 yards. Brunner had 180 yards receiving.

Sneed threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns for the Grizzles (2-1).

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