Burk, Deboo score touchdowns for respective teams during 7-7 draw
By Jason Shoot
Throughout next season, Montana State University-Northern football coach Walt Currie would love to see his defense take advantage of opponents' miscues and turn them into touchdowns.
But during spring drills, when his defense's opponent is the Northern offense, he surely doesn't want to see that happen at all.
But during Northern's final spring scrimmage last night at Blue Pony Stadium, Currie's offense bumbled and fumbled their way through much of the game, allowing the defense to finish the game with a 7-7 tie.
Freshman linebacker Eric Burk provided the defense with its touchdown when he scooped up a fumble one of six overall for the offense and raced 34 yards untouched into the end zone.
Freshman defensive end Lee Dresch stripped quarterback Chris Hess of the football with a hit from behind, and Burk was right on top of the play to pick up the ball and go the other way for the touchdown.
"We've got to work on hanging on to the football," Currie said. "We can't fumble the ball that many times and expect to win."
Freshman running back Keith Deboo provided the offense with its lone touchdown with an 11-yard scamper, but the Lights' offense began that drive at the defense's 25-yard line as part of the non-traditional scrimmage rules.
In fact, Northern's running game, which Currie has said much of this offseason he wants to improve, was the only highlight for the Lights offensively.
"I thought we ran the ball well," Currie said. "But maybe we did so much running in the spring (some other facets in the offense struggled)."
The Lights showed impressive speed getting outside the tackles on running plays and quarterback rollouts, but each drive was thwarted by the defense short of the end zone.
In addition to the fumbles, the Lights offense continually hurt themselves with penalties, dropped passes and missed blocks resulting in quarterback sacks.
The defense clearly had the upper-hand the entire evening, and the unit wasn't even close to full strength. All-conference defensive lineman Kino Detrick and all-conference linebackers Josh Fike and Lucas Gunderson all sat out to nurse injuries.
The Lights open their season against defending Frontier Conference champions Carroll College on August 25 at Blue Pony Stadium.