By Harvey Brock
Spurred by the passing of junior Brandon Kerkes and the running of red-shirt freshman Bill Templer, Montana State University-Northern's first team offense scored all three times it had the ball Saturday during the team's second spring scrimmage.
The first team offense needed only six plays to score against the second defense on its first possession of the scrimmage. First-string quarterback Kerkes found sophomore wide receiver Tanner Woodward from Frenchtown on a 44-yard scoring pass. Kerkes completed 8-of-16 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The junior quarterback from Centerville also ran the ball three times for 13 yards and a touchdown. Former Blue Pony kicker David Knight added the extra point. Knight was 3-for-3 on extra point attempts.
Northern's first team defense forced the second team offense to punt after only three plays. The next possession pitted the first team offense against the first team defense. Beginning on its own 31-yard line, the offense marched down the field. Kerkes scored on a quarterback sneak that culminated the 15-play drive.
The second team offense failed to move the ball the next two possessions against the first and second team defenses. Replacing the second team, the first team offense scored on a six-play 72-yard drive. Kerkes passed to sophomore Kris Marshall for a 17-yard score.
The defense got on the scoreboard on the final possession, when All-Conference linebacker Mark Nay of Helena scored on a 39-yard interception return.
Coach Walt Currie was pleased with the play of the first team offense. Currie noted that the defense was hampered by the absence of three starting defensive linemen Bomont Summerfield, Steve Spangler and Kino Detrick.
Currie was impressed with the running of fullback Bill Templer. "He is quicker than he looks," Currie said. "He glides when he runs." Templer, of Ronan, led all players in rushing with 55 yards on seven carries. Templeton also caught three passes for 37 yards.
Northern will hold its final scrimmage of the spring at Blue Pony Stadium on May 2 at 6:30 p.m. Northern will begin its 2002 season on the road Sept. 7 against Dickinson State.