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MSU-N Notebook: Troy joins the MSU-N captains

MSU-Northern Game Day Notebook


November 4, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Troy Ross, left, joins the Montana State University-Northern captains for the coin toss before Saturday night's Frontier Cnonference football game at Blue Pony Stadium. Ross, who suffers from a rare lung diseason, was helped by the Lights' football team earlier this year when they participated in the #TroyStrong Montana Red Cross Blood Drive.

Andrew Rolin is a guru when it comes to the offensive attack. Ever since he became the head coach for Montana State University-Northern Lights, he has certainly lived up to that billing.

Rolin knows he wants the best quarterback he can find at the helm and at the start of the year, that player was Brenden Medina. Medina has started many games so far in the season, but there has been some changes with the leader of the offense in recent games.

True freshman Tre' Long took the helm last week at Montana Western and was the main quarterback for the rematch against Carroll College last Saturday.

Before the season started, Long showed his prowess as both a passing and running quarterback, proving he could mix it up on the field in the right situation. In the end, Medina earned the starting spot, but some struggles for the young quarterback led Rolin to switch it up recently.

On Saturday night against the Carroll College Fighting Saints, Long and Medina both did some good things, but as young quarterbacks, they also continued to struggle at times.

Long threw 16 completions for 144 yards, as well as one touchdown and an interception. Medina, had three completions for 24 yards and an interception.

Both Long and Medina are young quarterbacks for the Lights, so it is no surprise there have been some hiccups along the way.

"Part of that is on me," said Rolin. "I have to coach these guys better so we as a team can be better. I just know the things we need to clean up for ourselves."

Moving forward, the Lights obviously have choices at quarterback, with both Long and Medina showing plenty of upside.

Saints Sack Fest

In Carroll College's big win over the Lights Saturday in Blue Pony Stadium, the Saints defense had a big night and has proved how scary it can be when it is at its max potential.

Four players for Carroll consistently wreaked havoc on the Northern offense. Rex Irby, Craig Kein and Chase Bowen all totaled six tackles and one tackle-for-loss on the night, but it was Payton Sexe that made some noise. Sexe brought the thunder and put up seven tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss.

In total, the four Saints ended the night against Northern with 25 tackles, four sacks and five tackles-for-loss.

All-in-all, those players gave Carroll the boost it needed to stay ahead in the game and hold the Lights to just six-points. A performance like that, including a three-game win-streak, reverberates among other teams in the Frontier conference.

Carroll's defense looked partrcularly strong Saturday night, and now sitting at 5-3, the Saints have got themselves in a position to have a winning season in Troy Purcell's first year at the helm.

#TroyStrong Saturday Night

Before the game between Northern and Carroll kicked off Saturday night, the captains for both teams met in the middle of the field per usual.

But this time the Lights had another captain who tagged along. It was not a Northern player, though, but Troy Ross.

Ross is a young boy that is fighting a rare lung disease. His parents, Callie and Wes Ross, have been working hard to make a difference for others in the state of Montana. The Ross family put together the "TroyStrong Montana Red Cross Blood Drive" or "#TroyStrong" and has held one of the drives at MSU-Northern.

So, it is no surprise the Lights wanted to give the young Ross another moment he will remember. As the MSU-N captains headed to midfield, they had Ross in tow, with the crowd cheering him on and the players smiling.

Young Troy is doing quite well and Wes Ross is grateful that the Lights gave his son a great memory. Wes Ross is thankful for everything that MSU-N head coach Andrew Rolin has done to help his son, as well.

Throughout the game, one could see the young boy enjoying the game and chatting with his dad. Troy Ross and his family are an example of people working to change the world. Despite the difficulties with Troy's health, the family has made the best of their situation and given the world another shining light in the darkness.

Honorary Lights Captain Troy Ross had a wonderful Saturday night with the Lights at Blue Pony Stadium and there is no question that those who saw the young boy walk hand-in-hand with the Northern captains were touched by Troy's story. In the end, the young Ross and his family will remember the kindness that the Lights showed them that night.


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