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Frontier Notebook: Frontier bye week couldn't get here soon enough for some

Frontier Conference Notebook


October 1, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Josh Rose, right, tries to grab a Montana Tech running back during last Saturday's blizzard game at Blue Pony Stadium. The Lights, and the rest of the Frontier Conference, have this week off.

Call it snowmageddon, call it ugly, call it whatever you want, but Saturday's Frontier Conference game at Blue Pony Stadium was held in some of the ugliest conditions even these parts have seen in some time.

And it had to go down as perhaps the worst weather game ever played in the Frontier, let alone Havre, in September - ever.

At kickoff last Saturday, Blue Pony Stadium was already under a layer of wet, heavy snow. Montana State University-Northern women's basketball players were doing their best to at least shovel off the yard-lines, but no matter how hard they worked, and they worked really hard, they had a hard time keeping up with the blizzard.

Of course, the snow wasn't the worst part though. A classic Havre 30 mph wind whipped right through the stadium, and that, combined with some of the darkest daytime skies seen, created absolutely horrific conditions.

The conditions didn't seem to bother the Orediggers, who won their third straight game, and extended Northern's difficult conference losing streak to 31 games, the Lights on the other hand, are ready to put the nasty homecoming game behind them.

In other words, the Frontier Conference bye week couldn't have come soon enough.

"It's a good thing," Northern head coach Andrew Rolin said of the upcoming bye week. "Because we have a lot to fix, a lot to figure out. We need to look in the mirror and regroup. As coaches, we've got to be better, I've got to do a better job. It starts with me. This team, we have to be better than this. We are better than what everybody saw out there today."

Northern probably isn't the only team happy the bye week has arrived.

Rocky Mountain College is another squad that is trending in the wrong direction.

The Battlin' Bears started the season with wins over Dickinson State and Northern, but since then, Rocky has lost three straight, including a 42-0 blowout at home to College of Idaho last Saturday. In their last three games, Rocky has scored a total of just 14 points combined in losses to Carroll, C of I and Montana Western. That's a far cry from last year's squad which averaged a whopping 41 points per outing in league play. RMC's defense has also been bludgeoned, giving up a combined 124 points during the losing streak.

Meanwhile, teams that probably wish they didn't have to slow down include Western and Southern Oregon. The Bulldogs are keeping pace with the Yotes, with both teams at 4-0 heading into the bye week, while SOU snapped its four-game skid with a thrilling win over Carroll last Saturday. The Raiders had been close, having narrowly lost to Tech two weeks ago, but now that they've broken through, they hope its only the beginning.

Calzaretta Howling

One of the many reasons everybody around the league was so high on C of I coming into the season was the return of senior quarterback Darius-James Peterson. And rightfully so.

The shifty and talented dual-threat QB had a huge last two years and is back for more.

But while Peterson is once again terrorizing Frontier defensive coordinators this fall, the Yotes have become dominant because of the emergence of running back Nick Calzaretta.

In his first two years at C of I, the 5-10, 205-pound native of California put up solid numbers. But in his junior year, he's exploding.

Through four games, Calzaretta is averaging 150 yards per game, and a whopping eight yards per carry. Last Saturday on the road, he smashed the Rocky defense to the tune of 133 yards and a score. In all, Calzaretta has three 100-yard games this season, including his week two, 247-yard outburst against Montana Tech. The only game in which Calzaretta hasn't rushed for 100 yards came on Sept. 14 when he rushed for 92 against SOU.

Calzaretta is getting in the endzone for the high-scoring yotes, too. He has five touchdowns this season, and an even more eye-popping stat is that he's only lost three yards on 75 carries.

Yes, with Calzaretta heading for the Frontier rushing title this fall, it makes the Yotes even more dangerous.

Poll Position

Three teams remain ranked in the NAIA Coaches Poll this week. College of Idaho jumped up one spot to No. 9, while Montana Western moved up three spots to No. 16. Montana Tech with its third straight win, moved up to No. 23. Carroll College was receiving votes in last week's poll, but fell out after the loss at Southern Oregon. Former Frontier Conference rival Dickinson State also moved up three spots to No. 13 in the new poll.

Frontier Honors

Western quarterback Jon Jund was named Frontier Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Jund threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns in Western's win over Eastern Oregon last Saturday.

C of I's Danny Garcia was named Defensive Player of the Week. Garcoa, a senior defensive end, had 10 tackles and 3.5 sacks in the Yotes' blowout win at Rocky Mountain College Saturday.

C of I's Kyle Mitchell was named Special Teams Player of the Week. The senior kicker was 6-for-6 on PAT's in the Yotes' win at Rocky, extending his PAT streak to 51 straight.

Rn. Prv. Rec. Pts.

1 1 Morningside (Iowa) 3-0 392

2 2 Benedictine (Kan.) 5-0 377

3 3 Saint Francis (Ind.) 3-0 362

4 4 Kansas Wesleyan 5-0 342

5 5 Concordia (Mich.) 4-0 327

6 6 Marian (Ind.) 3-0 320

7 7 Grand View (Iowa) 5-0 295

8 8 Northwestern (Iowa) 4-0 282

9 10 College of Idaho 4-0 276

10 11 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 4-0 259

11 13 Cumberlands (Ky.) 3-0 240

12 15 Southeastern (Fla.) 3-0 208

13 16 Dickinson State 3-1 187

14 17 Bethel (Tenn.) 3-1 175

15 9 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 1-2 174

16 19 Montana Western 4-0 172

17 18 Langston (Okla.) 2-0 163

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Action from Saturday's blizzard game between MSU-Northern and Montana Tech in Havre.

18 12 Evangel (Mo.) 4-1 145

19 20 Siena Heights (Mich.) 4-0 124

20 21 Ottawa (Ariz.) (AZ) 4-0 104

21 14 Reinhardt (Ga.) 3-2 97

22 24 Keiser (Fla.) 3-0 91

23 25 Montana Tech 3-1 59

24 22 Baker (Kan.) 3-2 39

25 NR Bethel (Kan.) 4-0 38

Others Receiving Votes: MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 19, Cumberland (Tenn.) 10, Sterling (Kan.) 3.


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