Friday Flashback: Humphrey leads Montana to 2001 NCAA title

May 22, 2020

Yohance Humphrey

Eagle River’s Yohance Humphrey put the University of Montana football team on his back in 2001 and carried the Grizzlies to paydirt.

The rugged running back rushed for 142 yards on 30 carries and scored the game’s only touchdown as Montana beat Furman 13-6 in the national championship game of the NCAA DI-AA tournament.

Humphrey, of Chugiak High fame, capped Montana’s 99-yard scoring drive in the second quarter when he plowed into the end zone on a 2-yard run up the middle.

He was the centerpiece on a 15-1 national championship team – a Hall of Fame player on a Hall of Fame squad. The 5-foot-10 Humphrey was a three-time All-American during his career from 1998 to 2001 and walked away as the greatest running back in Montana history.

Humphrey is the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4892) and rushing touchdowns (54).

He set the single-game rushing record with 265 yards against Weber State in 2001 and tied the school record with four rushing touchdowns.

Montana racked up a 45-10 record with Humphery and won four Big Sky championships.

His 138.2 yards on the ground per game average in 2001 is a school record. He averaged 116.1 yards in 1999, which is the second highest average, while his 110.4 average in 2000 is fifth.

Friday Flashback is a series created by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog editor Van Williams that looks back on great Alaska athletes from the past. To read about other Alaskans featured in this series, click here.