Frontier roundup: Montana Tech bounces back; Carroll, Montana Western prevail

Kaleb Winterburn
Posted at 6:28 PM, Oct 28, 2023

BUTTE — Shaking off last week’s loss at Rocky Mountain College, No. 23 Montana Tech rebounded Saturday with a 40-32 Frontier Conference victory over Arizona Christian at Alumni Coliseum.

Landers Smith’s 12-yard touchdown run with 1:43 left gave the Orediggers the breathing room they’d need to improve their overall record to 5-3 and to 4-2 in the Frontier standings.

Montana Tech quarterback Blake Thelen threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. His 1-yard TD run in the first quarter and his 3-yard scoring pass to Dylan Snyder in the second helped the Orediggers build a 14-0 lead.

Tech rushed for 306 yards as a team, led by Smith’s 183 yards and two touchdowns. Kaleb Winterburn added 114 yards on the ground for the Orediggers.

Montana Tech’s defense had four quarterback sacks and forced two turnovers, sending Arizona Christian to 2-7 overall and 1-6 in the Frontier.

No. 11 Carroll 21, Southern Oregon 13

ASHLAND, Ore. — Jack Prka threw two touchdown passes and Daxon Graham returned an interception for a score as No. 11 Carroll topped Southern Oregon 21-13.

A week after falling at home to the College of Idaho, Carroll improved its overall record to 7-1 and is now 5-1 in the league. Southern Oregon fell to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the Frontier.

Graham’s 45-yard interception return for a TD put Carroll up 7-0 in the first quarter. Prka found Camron Rothie with a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second as the Saints built a 14-0 lead.

Avery McCuaig’s short TD run pulled SOU within 14-7 in the second, and a 42-yard field goal by Brian Batres made it 14-10 before halftime.

Prka’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Harrison in the third gave Carroll a 21-10 cushion. Batres added to SOU’s scoring with a 32-yard field goal in the third, but the Saints’ defense held firm from there.

No. 13 Montana Western 44, MSU-Northern 0

DILLON — Led by Michael Palandri’s three touchdown passes, Montana Western won its sixth straight game with a 44-0 shutout of MSU-Northern on Saturday.

Palandri threw touchdowns to Jon Kirkley, Dylan Shipley and Eli Nourse as the Bulldogs built a 20-0 lead in the third quarter. Jake Humphrey added a 25-yard TD run, and Nourse returned a punt 60 yards for another score.

Backup QB Kaden Jenks threw a touchdown pass to Coby Tanioka in the fourth quarter as Western improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the league.

MSU-Northern fell to 1-7 overall and to 0-6 in the Frontier. 

No. 8 College of Idaho 42, Eastern Oregon 38

CALDWELL, Idaho — Andy Peters threw five touchdown passes and No. 8 College of Idaho staved off an upset bid by Eastern Oregon, winning 42-38.

Peters’ 15-yard touchdown throw to Brock Richardson with 3:18 remaining gave C of I the winning points. Richardson caught three of Peters’ TD passes.