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Battlin' Bears claw the Lights in the snow


October 15, 2018

The Montana State University-Northern Lights knew they were walking into the Bear’s den Saturday afternoon. And an angry Rocky Mountain College team is what they found.

In a Frontier Conference rematch, the Lights were pummeled by the No. 16 Battlin’ Bears 52-13 Saturday at snowy Herb Klindt Field in Billings. The loss dropped Northern to 0-6 in the Frontier, while Rocky rose to 4-2 in league play.

Rocky head coach Jason Petrino said earlier last week that he wanted to see his team start fast, and that’s exactly what the Bears did. Rocky scored on its first five possessions, as Sam Sparks opened things with a short touchdown run, before Jakob Bakken threw deep TD passes to Max Gray and Brandon Mosely. In the second quarter Taylor Schwartz hauled in a 49-yard TD from Drew Korf, and Rocky added a field goal to their game-opening 31 unanswered points.

The Lights finally stopped the bleeding when Tommy Wilson hooked up with Marvin Williams for a 36-yard scoring strike, but a 38-6 halftime deficit against the Bears was just too much for the young Lights to overcome.

Northern did tack on a 9-yard Wilson TD run, but Rocky’s offense was too much for Northern to handle as the Bears rolled up over 500 yards, including 363 yards through the air and 57 more on the ground from Bakken, who is having an All-American type season at QB.

The Northern offense did have another good day moving the ball. Against one of the top defenses in the NAIA, the Lights tallied 21 first downs and 365 yards of offense. Wilson passed for 242 yards and finished with a career-high 78 yards on the ground. Six different Lights caught passes, including nine grabs from Bryce Bumgardner, while Williams had six catches and Sam Mix chipped in with four.

Defensively, Jeff Tinae led the Lights with 13 tackles, while Jaren Maki had seven and Trendae Umi-Tuato’o had the game’s only sack.

The win was the third straight for Rocky, and it also pulled off a season sweep for the Bears over the Lights. Meanwhile, Northern has lost six straight and is in the midst of playing three of four on the road.

The Lights do come home this Saturday to take on yet another red-hot team, the UM-Western Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Blue Pony Stadium.

Rocky 52, Lights 13

MSU-Northern 0 6 0 7 - 13

Rocky Mountain 21 17 7 7 -52

RMC: Sam Sparks 1 run (Dillon Johnson kick)

RMC: Max Gray 52 pass from Jacob Bakken (Johnson kick)

RMC: Brandon Mosley 68 pass from Bakken (Johnson kick)

RMC; Taylor Schwartz 49 pass from Drew Korf (Johnson kick)

RMC: Johnson 32 field goal

MSN: Marvin Williams Jr. 36 pass from Tommy Wilson (kick fail)

RMC: Cody McCombs 2 run (Johnson kick)

RMC: Darneail Jenkins 47 pass from Bakken (Johnson kick)

MSN: Wilson 9 run (Morales kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING: Northern, Tommy Wilson 16-78, Jett Robertson 12-30, Samuel Bradby 3-13. Rocky, Jacob Bakken 2-57, Cody McCombs 9-54, Sam Sparks 11-43, Colton Williams 2-21, Tyler Eberhardt 2-7, Drew Korf 1-6, Lucas Overton 1-5, Team 3-(minus 10).

PASSING: Northern, Tommy Wilson 27-43-244-0, Jett Robertson 0-1-0-0. Rocky, Jacob Bakken 17-24-363-0, Drew Korf 1-1-49-0.

RECEIVING: Northern, Bryce Bumgardner 9-93, Marvin Williams Jr. 6-65, Sam Mix 4-43, Seth Roemmele 3-24, Jett Robertson 3-(minus 1), Keegan Stroop 2-20. Rocky, Max Gray 4-83, Darneial Jenkins 3-65, Brandon Mosley 2-79, Derrick Olsen 2-40, Lucas Overton 2-13, Josh Kraft 1-65, Taylor Schwartz 1-49, Cody McCombs 1-11, Tyler Eberhardt 1-4, Sam Sparks 1-3.

TACKLES: Northern, Jeff Tinae 13, Jaren Maki 7, Ostin Welch 6, Justin Pfeifer 6. Sacks: Trendae Umi-Tuato'o. Rocky, Dallas Mack 10, Chase Bertelsen 9, Kendell Jefferson 7. Fumble recovery: Jefferson.

Lights are 0-6 in the Frontier, 1-6 overall; Next Up: vs Western


Frontier Conference Standings

Conf. All


UM-Western 5-1 5-1

Rocky Mountain 4-2 5-2

Southern Oregon 4-2 4-2

Eastern Oregon 4-2 4-2

Montana Tech 3-3 3-3

Carroll College 2-4 3-4

College of Idaho 2-4 2-5

MSU-Northern 0-6 1-7


Rocky Mountain 52, MSU-Northern 13

UM-Western 30, Carroll College 10

Eastern Oregon 27, Southern Oregon 17

College of Idaho 23, Montana Tech 20, OT

Saturday, Oct. 20

MSU-Northern vs UM-Western

Rocky Mountain at Carroll College

Montana Tech at Eastern Oregon

Southern Oregon at College of Idaho


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