The Missoula Phoenix opened up the 2011 season on the road against the defending champion Great Falls Gladiators. The first half was a defensive struggle and ended with the Phoenix up 7-6. The Phoenix took a 14-6 lead in the third quarter, but then Great Falls came back to score 2 unanswered touchdowns to win 21-14. QB Shane Jurasek went 20/37 for a total of 264 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Matano and Shane Byers each caught a touchdown pass for the Phoenix. The Phoenix will play at the Bitterroot Blaze next Friday night.