By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Both teams posted wins for the first time this season after three weeks of play. Neither team has a conference win. Both teams will be out for blood because one will have a Frontier Conference win after Thursday ends.
The MSU-Northern Lights are looking to redeem a 1998 55-7 thumping from the Rocky Mountain College Battlin Bears at Billings.
This year, the game is at Havre. This year, Rocky, the defending Frontier Conference champion has struggled to tally a win.
Northern won its first game in 28 years Saturday when it downed non-conference Minot State in a 27-21 overtime victory.
Rocky also won its first game of the season Saturday with a 29-28 win over non-conference University of Mary on a last second surge into the end zone in regulation play.
Rockys quarterback, David Short, who threw the game-winning touchdown with no time remaining last weekend, leads the Frontier Conference in passing. He has gone 94-for-138 with only one interception.
Theyve got a great quarterback, said Lights head coach Walt Currie. Theyve got two good receivers who spread the field out and they can throw the football.
Northerns quarterback Chris Jackson is 58-for-146 with five touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Rockys wide receiver Forest Hurlbert leads the league in all-purpose yards with a total of 520, an average of 173.3 per game, this season.
Lights wide receiver Andy Smith stands at No. 4 in the league averaging 157.3 per game. Smith has notched more than 100 yards receiving each game this year.
Smith is second in the league in receiving yards with 40 receptions for 703 yards. He stands behind a Rocky Mountain receiver, Dennis Short, who has tallied 370 yards on 31 receptions.
Northerns T Artis leads the league in punt return, averaging 13.3 yards per return.
Rockys Hurlbert follows with 10.7 yards per return.
On kick-off returns, Artis stands behind two Bears, Hurlbert who has an average of 27.3 yards per return and Dennis Short who has an average of 18.4 yards per return. Artis averaged 18.0 per return.
Defensively, Kino Detrick had two fumble recoveries against Minot State, and he leads the league in forced fumbles from his defensive linebacker position.
Matt Schumacher and Mark May, along with Detrick, have scrambled on the field as they each have recovered fumbles in a game.
Josh Fike, who has stepped in for injured Lucas Gunderson at a linebacker position, played strong for the Lights last weekend and looks to continue to be tough on defense.
Montana Power Co. will again sponsor the game to be aired on Channel 19 in Havre.
Last time, the TV wasnt too good for us, Currie said.
The Lights game against Carroll College that was aired two weeks ago ended with the Fighting Saints pounding the Lights 69-0 at Helena.
However, Currie said, the Lights have been running the ball better offensively and Smith has still been catching the ball, two things that have strengthened since the last Thursday night game.
The tailgate parties at MSU-Northern are slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. for a pre-game warm-up.
The tailgate is a really good deal for people who want to enjoy the pre-game festivities, Currie said.
A bus will transport fans from the tailgate to the game and back to the college following the game, Currie said.
Kick off is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Blue Pony Stadium.