The Montana State University-Northern football team is just a little over a week away from hosting UM-Western in a Frontier Conference opener.
Tonight, the Lights will start to fine-tune preparations for that game when they hold their second scrimmage of fall camp.
Northern has been hard it work for almost two weeks now and tonight’s scrimmage will give coaches an opportunity to see where the Lights are at as far as installing the offense and defense, as well as where players are at in position battle. In fact, tonight will give the Lights a chance to really take a look at their depth for the upcoming season.
Northern conducted its first scrum last Saturday and the Lights looked sharp. The offense totaled over 500 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. Offensively, MSU-N is sitting in a good spot with starter pretty much solidified. But youngsters like wide receivers Mick Miller and Brandt Montelius, as well as several backup offensive linemen have been standing out to this point.
Northern is also showing some depth at quarterback. Starter Derek Lear and backup Travis Dean have looked good, but in last Saturday’s scrimmage, freshman J.R. Finai also showed some good things. Finai is a Salt Lake City native and standing 6-2 and weighing 220 pounds he’s a physical specimen. And he looked sharp moving the third-string offense. Also running with No. 3 offense is freshman running back Zach McKinley, who has also looked solid in fall camp.
On defense, MSU-N made key plays in last week’s scrimmage and coaches will be looking for more of the same. Northern has had good production from newcomers Mike Carbone and Jared Rohrback, while the secondary has looked solid with freshman Chris Hamilton pushing for playing time.
But with time winding down on fall camp, the Northern coaches will be looking for even more players to step up and that’s a big part of what tonight’s scrimmage will be about.
Tonight’s scrimmage will start at 6:15 p.m. at the MSU-Northern practice fields. The Lights will likely take Friday off then start full preparations for their game with Western which is slated for Sept. 3 at Blue Pony Stadium.