DILLON — When College of Idaho quarterback Darius Peterson kneeled on his team’s own one-yard line with just seconds to play in the fourth, it left everybody inside of Vigilante Stadium confused on Saturday, but it was a fitting ending to a wild first game of the Frontier Conference football season, a 16-14 decision in favor of the Montana Western Bulldogs.
The game should have been over moments before, when Bulldogs quarterback Bennett Gibson converted a 4th-and-1 keeper with less than a minute to play and no timeouts for the opposing Yotes. But, instead of kneeling the ball, Western tried to find the end zone before senior running back Hunter Thomsen coughed up his third fumble of the game.
There were nine total turnovers between the two teams and both starting quarterbacks were injured during the contest (JD Ferris for Montana Western and Peterson for the College of Idaho). Peterson returned in the second half after going down late in the first half with a leg injury, while what trainers called a a sprained AC joint in Ferris’ shoulder kept him sidelined for the remainder of the contest.
Ferris was replaced by Gibson in the second quarter and he provided the spark for a struggling offense, which had troubles moving the football up until Gibson being called upon. The backup led the Bulldogs to a touchdown on his first drive and led his team to points on each of his first three drives. Gibson finished the day completing 19 of 31 passes for 243 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bulldogs head coach Ryan Nourse said after the game that he expects Ferris to be ready to play on Sept. 2 when Western heads to Utah to take on Weber State of the Big Sky Conference.