By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Question: Name two things the MSU-Northern Lights football team has not done since 1971?
Answer: One, win a Frontier Conference matchup, and, two, score on a field goal attempt.
The Lights (3-5 overall, 1-4 in the Frontier Conference) downed the Western Montana College Bulldogs 3-0 in overtime play at Dillon Saturday.
Tanner Smith connected on a 12-yard field goal attempt in overtime play to catapult the Lights to the win. When the two met earlier this season, Western won the contest, 23-21.
The two teams remained scoreless in regulation play, and Western got the first possession in the overtime.
They retained possession on the Lights 25-yard line, but, after three plays, cornerback Joel Onsager caused a fumble that Chad Rearden recovered, opening the door to the Lights score.
Travis Hille, Andy Smith and Travis Crawford each attempted to hit the end zone on the first overtime possession.
But it was 260-pound Smith who booted the field goal for the victory.
He quoted the paper that he just put all his weight behind it, head coach Walt Currie said. After he made it, there was a huge dog pile on him.
Offensively, the Lights managed 227 yards rushing, led by Crawford who had nine carries for 65 yards. In the air, Crawford had two receptions for 11 yards.
Hille tallied 12 carries for 53 yards on the ground and two receptions for 13 yards, while quarterback Chris Jackson had 14 carries for 48 yards. Todd Clyde had six carries for 15 yards.
Jackson completed 16-of-35 passes, including one interception.
Smith, who was smothered by the Bulldogs, led the receivers with seven receptions for 29 yards. Dan Yeager at tight end had three receptions for 26 yards.
The Bulldogs (1-5, 1-4) were held to just 63 yards on the ground and 184 yards in the air, for a total of 211 yards in the contest.
Kino Detrick tallied two sacks while Steve Spangler and Seth Swingley contributed sacks in the effort, totaling 24 yards.
In the first quarter, Bill McGuire intercepted a pass from the Bulldog end zone and returned it for 29 yards.
That was a huge interception, Currie said. He ran it out and saved the score.
The Lights finished up a three-week road trip with a 2-3 record. They opened with a 42-19 win at South Dakota Tech, but were defeated 69-21 last weekend at Ricks College.
I think its another milestone, Currie said. First, we had to get a win, and then we had to get a win on the road, and then we had to get a conference win. It was just the next stepping stone. It wasnt pretty, but we got her done.
The Lights will play its homecoming game Saturday, when they face Carroll College at 1 p.m. at Blue Pony Stadium.
Passing Yds (Net)
Total off. plays-yards
Lights Rushing T. Crawford 9-65; T. Hille 12-53; C. Jackson 14-48; T. Clyde 6-15; Passing C. Jackson 35-16; Receiving A. Smith 7-29; D. Yeager 3-26; T. Hille 2-13; T. Crawford 2-11; Punting J. Burt, 11-33.9; TM, 1-0.0; Punt Returns T. Artis 4-28; Kick Returns T. Artis 1-15; J. Kirby 1-25.