It was an exciting start to the 2018 Montana State football season. After a timid first half, the Bobcats rallied to beat the Western Illinois Leathernecks in the annual Gold Rush Game at Bobcat Stadium 26-23.

The Bobcats started the game a bit timid, managing only a couple of field goals from Tristan Bailey to trail 13-6 going into halftime. In the second half, the Bobcats got their offense moving, scoring 20 points, led by quarterback Troy Anderson's 145 yards rushing.

Montana State's special games was a big factor in the Bobcat's win. Bailey connected on four field goals on the night, including one from 50 yards in the second half and another from 47 yards to close out the first half. His 2 fourth quarter field goals helped give the Bobcats the victory.

Thursday night's win was the first time the Bobcats have beat a Division I opponent in a season opener since 2013. Bobcats are on the road next Saturday at third-ranked South Dakota State.