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Lights meet Fighting Saints after dark

Northern starts two-game home stretch with a Saturday night game against Carroll College

 

November 1, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Damari Caul-Davis runs away from the Rocky Mountain College defense during Northern's last home game two weeks ago. The Lights begin November with a night game against Carroll College Saturday at 7 p.m.

Another week of Montana State University-Northern football is here and the Lights are still in search of their first Frontier Conference win.

Northern will look to get over the hump of its rough season and the game against Carroll will be an opportunity to do just that. The Lights and Fighting Saints meet Saturday at 7 p.m. inside Blue Pony Stadium.

But the game is not the first meeting of the season. The last time Northern (0-7, 1-7) and the Fighting Saints (4-3, 4-3) played against each other, Carroll beat the Lights 54-26. in Helena. Now, A Frontier Conference rematch is prepped to take the stage and Northern is excited for a second chance to down the Fighting Saints.

MSU-N head coach Andrew Rolin is ready for his team to compete against Carroll College.

"It's an important game to us," Rolin said. "Carroll's a team that, every time you face them, its kind of a game where you want to beat Carroll. Coach (Troy) Purcell has done a nice job at Carroll. They're disciplined and big upfront. We're going to have to match that with our execution and physicality.

The Saints, under Purcell, the former Havre High great, have had a very tough offense throughout the season and in the first meeting with Northern, Carroll exploded. Saints' quarterback Devan Bridgewater put up three passing touchdowns against the Lights. Running back Major Ali ran in for two touchdowns against Northern. When it came to field goals, Josh Kraft made two as well as Carroll rolled up over 500 total yards.

Overall, the Saints' offense is both dangerous in the passing and running game. Especially recently, the run game has been making strides and Rolin knows Carroll will not back down from trying to keep the ball on the ground.

"We've got to stop the run," said Rolin. "Carroll likes to run the ball. We have to stop the run."

The Lights though, are looking forward to the rematch against the Saints, as well. Northern's passing game did quite well against Carroll earlier in the season. Quarterback Brenden Medina has gained more steady play in the pocket and has become a more honed player so far in the season. Medina's four passing touchdowns against the Saints showed just what kind of potential he has.

Carroll's offense has put many defenses in tough situations all season and against Northern, the Saints held the Lights to 26 points, keeping Northern from consistently scoring. On top of that, Carroll's touchdowns were often from big plays.

"Defensively, we can't give up explosive plays," said Rolin. "We've got to minimalize those explosive plays."

The Lights' run game has improved since the first game against the Saints, too. Against Carroll, rushing touchdowns were not theret but the Lights look to regain the footing it needs against the Saints Saturday. If Northern's ground game, led by Cameron Taylor and Jett Robertson, stays consistent in the game, Northern will have more chances to score more against Carroll.

For the receiving game, Marvin Williams Jr. put up a great game against the Saints in the last meeting. Williams Jr. caught three-out-of-the-four of Medina's touchdown passes. Williams Jr. totaled 123-receiving-yards at the end of the day against Carroll and will look to have another big game once more.

Senior receiver Bryce Bumgardner will look to help the receiving game, as well. Bumgardner is known for his incredible hands on the field, often catching the ball in most situations. A quick pass to Bumgardner will be an option that can help the Lights pull ahead in the game.

For Rolin, he wants his offense to go to work Saturday and keep moving throughout the game.

"We're going to have to take care of the football offensively," said Rolin. "We've got to score in the redzone and we got to be able to run the football.

Luckily, Northern will look to use its home field to its advantage. Playing at home is often seen as giving a boost to the team. But, the Lights have found struggles at home, too. MSU-N has not won a home game so far in the season, but the team will look to change that and keep Carroll from beating them on the home turf.

The Lights and Saints meet Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside Blue Pony Stadium. The game is part of a huge day-night doubleheader of football in Havre.

Night Game

MSU-Northern Lights (0-7, 1-7) vs Carroll College Fighting Saints (4-3, 4-3)

Saturday, 7 p.m. Blue Pony Stadium

Streaming: golightsgo.com

Radio: 92.5 KPQX FM

Twitter: Twitter/Havredaily

See Game Day

Inside

 

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