By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Ricks College threw for 312 yards in an offensive effort that was too much for the MSU-Northern Lights football team, as the Lights fell 69-21 at Viking Stadium Saturday.
Playing Ricks is like playing one of the lower end Big Sky Conference teams, said head coach Walt Currie.
The first quarter was all Ricks when, with 13:04 on the clock, quarterback Ryan Harris hit Pat Williams on a 19-yard reception to open the scoring attack. Harris went 17-of-25 for 312 yards in the air, while Williams notched 100 yards receiving.
Fewer than three minutes later, Tom Pace ran in a one-yard score for the Vikings to lift them 14-0. With more than two minutes remaining, Russ Kay intercepted a Lights pass and ran it back 25 yards for the score. The Vikings led 21-0 after one. Pace led the Viking receivers with five receptions for 122 yards.
Harris and Pace would connect two more times for scores until Lights quarterback Chris Jackson hit receiver Andy Smith on a 14-yard completion and touchdown with 3:13 remaining in the second quarter. Jackson threw 24-of-52 completions, including two interceptions, for 254 yards.
Smith had 12 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one carry for 10 yards on the ground.
Northern outscored Ricks 14-7 in the fourth quarter when Jackson and Smith connected on a 55-yard pass completion and touchdown with 10:13 remaining in the game.
With 4:10 on the clock, Jackson hit John Parrish on a 24-yard pass and the touchdown.
The Lights had 20 carries for 42 yards rushing. Travis Hille had three carries for 31 yards to lead the attack. Havre native Richard Jarvis had three carries for six yards.
The Lights, 0-4 in the Frontier Conference and 2-5 overall, remain on the road next week when they go to Dillon to take on the Bulldogs whose one win was over the Lights earlier this season.