HELENA — In a day full of celebrations, the Carroll College football team was a part of one of the bigger ones with a 34-0 win over the Montana State-Northern Lights.
The Lights defense, led by former Carroll College head coach Mike Van Diest, held the Fighting Saints offense to just a first-quarter field goal through nearly the first before Carroll was able to find their footing.
Carroll College's freshman quarterback Jack Prka was solid in the victory, completing 11 passes for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. Baxter Tuggle and Duncan Kraft were key in the Fighting Saints offensive effort with Kraft recording 155 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, while Tuggle 71 yards on 11 carries
With just over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Fighting Saints punt return unit was able to block a Hunter Riley punt and set the Fighting Saints up just outside the red zone. Four plays later, Prka found Jaden Harrison from four yards away to put the Fighting Saints up 10-0.
As the final moments of the first half approached, Prka evaded a staunch Lights defense before lofting a ball to Tony Collins for a 40-yard touchdown to put Carroll up 18-0 before the end of the first half.
The Lights tried to lean heavily on their run game on Saturday with 34 rushing attempts out of 55 total plays, but the Fighting Saints defense held the Lights to just 36 total yards while sacking Devonte Armstrong four times for a loss of 28 total yards.
Out of the half, Carroll's Cameron Pruitt was able to recover a fumble and take it to the house for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Fighting Saints up 25-0 with just over 12 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Fighting Saints were able to tack on nine more points with a Duncan Kraft 44-yard rushing touchdown and a field goal by Carson Gorton in the third quarter to bring the game to its final score of 34-0.
Saturday also served as an opportunity to recognize the Fighting Saints' most recent inductees in the Carroll College Athletics Hall of Fame. Inductees included Katie (Martin) Reed, Nick Howlett, Jim Hogan, Phil Lenoue, the 1979-80 Women's basketball team, and the 2010 National Championship Football team.
With the win, the Fighting Saints get back to .500 on the year at 3-3 and will head into a bye week before looking to dethrone the Frontier Conference's top-ranked Rocky Mountain College Bears on Oct. 23.
The Lights will return to Havre and host a non-conference tilt against NCAA DII Simon Fraser University on Oct. 16.