MISSOULA — Crosstown rivalries always come with a little extra juice. 

The excitement flows even more so when the game is tied going into the fourth quarter.

On Oct. 24, 2014, the Lions of Auburn Mountainview in Washington went into enemy territory to face the Trojans of Auburn. It's a game current Montana quarterback Gresch Jensen remembers well.

Jensen, No. 2, lined up in the secondary with No. 1 Gavin Robertson next to him.

"We were both pretty jacked up for that one," Jensen said.

Juniors at the time, Jensen and Robertson finished the game with eight tackles apiece. Jensen also completed 10 of 18 passes for 144 yards passing with a touchdown. 

But it was Robertson who stole the show.

"Boy, he went out and just started smokin' guys," Jensen said, laughing and reminiscing about his team's 17-13 win. "That was a really fun game. ... He sealed it out with a pick to end the game. That was a pretty good moment for us."

That game is still fresh on the mind of Mountainview's head coach Jared Gervais too. 

"(Gavin) got flagged for one of the hardest hits I've ever seen," Gervais said. "It wasn't an illegal hit. It was just so hard the refs didn't know what to do. He barrels downhill like a madman."

Several years later, Auburn Mountainview is still very proud of the No. 1 and No. 2 duo.

Their pictures hang up in their high school locker room to serve as motivation for the next generation of Lions. And a glance at the record book helps too: Robertson and Jensen's names still appear in Mountainview's football record book 44 times combined

"They probably are two of the hardest-hitting defensive players we've ever had on the field at the same time," Gervais said. "They had a great time playing defense together. ... Those two were a pretty potent duo."

After they both graduated in 2016, Jensen went to Montana while Robertson played for Arizona. But the two are together again after that brief hiatus apart. 

Robertson looked to transfer after the Wildcats switched the former 3-star safety to linebacker, where he received minimal action as a redshirt freshman. He played in three games and made two tackles, as well as recording a single pass breakup.

He knew he wanted to land somewhere in the Big Sky Conference, and Jensen helped out with that. 

"He was a big part of me coming here, too," Robertson said of Jensen. "He was somebody I could trust, that wouldn't lie to me."

Jensen added: "I threw in a couple words for him, just letting him know what it was like and what we have here. I think it really helped and I was just trying to give him what I thought. He really took it to heart I guess."

Robertson said the process of transferring was hectic, especially with the month-long time frame to find a new home, but his official visit and his home visit with Montana went well.

He said that in addition to Jensen, safeties coach Shann Schillinger was another contributing factor in becoming a Griz.

"When I came down on my official visit, I got to spend time with him and see the person that he is," Robertson said of Schillinger. "He was a great player. He knows what it takes to get to the next level and all that because (he) played. He knows what he's talking about."

Schillinger was a part of both Robertson's visits. 

"When we had him on the visit, I loved his demeanor," Schillinger said. "I loved who he was. I loved what he was about. And then when Coach Hauck and I were at his home visit, I loved his family. Really good family that gets it. He's raised the right way and just really clicked with him.

"I thought we meshed well and I thought we had a good chance to get him. I'm pleased to say I'm happy that we did."

Robertson's former teammate is happy to see his friend in Washington-Grizzly Stadium too. 

"It's nice seeing No. 2 on defense flying around, hitting people again," Jensen said, chuckling. "I miss seeing that. Gosh, sometimes I wish I could be playing with him again, ... us two on defense. Or he can come over to offense, too, be one of my receivers."

And the Auburn Mountainview community is ecstatic too.

"It's really cool to see how excited the teachers are about the fact that the two of them are together playing at Montana," Gervais said. " ... Our coaching staff is pumped. They're guys that we point to with the way that they handle themselves and approach the game. We want other kids to do the same."

Jensen and Robertson aren't lined up together as defensive backs anymore, but they do share more than their common history. 

Both the former Lions sport the No. 2 jersey.

Jensen chalks it up to potentially being a coincidence, but Gervais sees it as an opportunity for his toddler to rep both players — if there's a No. 2 Montana jersey out there. 

Regardless of the number on Robertson's back, Schillinger knows there's a lot of work to be done there. But, Schillinger also sees the potential Robertson has.

"He's a guy that shows flashes of being really, really good," Schillinger said. "When I first saw him get out here in pads, I thought, with his size, there might be some limitations. There's not.

"He can move and he has some playmaking ability. Now, we have to iron some things out, just like all of our guys, but he shows signs and flashes of being a really good player in this league. He can run and hit and that's what we're looking for."

Ten practices into spring ball and a few months after making the change from Arizona to Montana, everything seems to be falling into place for Robertson. 

"I'm not going to lie, I never thought in a million years that I'd be in Montana playing football, but ... it's definitely starting to feel like home," Robertson said. "When I went back home for spring break, I wanted to come back. That's a good sign."

NOTES: Montana is 10 practices in to its 15-practice calendar for spring ball. Monday's practice was the third day of no pads and was the first practice the Grizzlies went through since before spring break. 

The weather during practice on Monday was a typical Montana spring, alternating with sunshine, snow and sleet. 

Wednesday will be a full-pads practice. Friday will be the first spring scrimmage. 

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Amie Just covers Griz football and Missoula-area preps. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

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