HELENA — Carroll College’s defense made a big statement Saturday during the opening weekend of the Frontier Conference football season.
Carroll wreaked havoc with six sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery to spearhead a 16-10 victory over No. 17 Montana Western at Nelson Stadium. The Saints’ offense ran just 48 plays but scored enough points to prevail over the Bulldogs, who were picked to win the Frontier in the preseason coaches poll.
Quarterback Jack Prka connected with Tony Collins on a 43-yard touchdown pass to give Carroll a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Stephen Powell made field goals of 35, 31 and 24 yards for the Saints.
Western got on the board on the last play of the first half when John Mears made a 26-yard field goal. Jon Jund found Blake Sentman for a 6-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs had possession with less than a minute left, but Carroll’s Hunter Peck forced a fumble from Jund after a 29-yard run, which was recovered by teammate Tug Smith to secure the victory.
Prka finished with 148 passing yards. Collins had six receptions for 81 yards. Jund, who threw for 3,055 yards and 33 touchdowns last season, was limited to 127 yards through the air on Saturday. Jund also had 91 rushing yards.
Carroll (1-0) will travel to play Montana Tech next week. UM Western (0-1) will host Eastern Oregon.
Elsewhere in the Frontier …
No. 19 Rocky 27, Southern Oregon 10
ASHLAND, Ore. — Quarterback Nate Dick threw for 210 yards, rushed for 81 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as 19th-ranked Rocky Mountain College won on the road over Southern Oregon, 27-10.
Zaire Wilcox rushed for 134 yards on 24 attempts for the Battlin’ Bears, who were victorious at SOU for the first time. The Bears accumulated 456 yards of offense and had 24 first downs.
Dick found Wilcox for a 7-yard touchdown throw late in the first quarter, then ran one in from 7 yards to make it 14-0 in the second. Matt White caught an 8-yard TD pass from Dick late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Austin Drake made two field goals for Rocky.
Dyllon Daniels intercepted Dick twice and Southern Oregon’s defense sacked him three times, but the Raiders were held to 269 total yards of offense. Blake Asciutto hit Ben Graziani with a 7-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Ethan Hurst had a sack and John Waddell had an interception for Rocky's defense.
Rocky (1-0) will play its first home game next Saturday versus the College of Idaho. Southern Oregon (0-1) will travel to play at MSU-Northern.
College of Idaho 31, MSU-Northern 3
CALDWELL, Idaho — The College of Idaho gave new MSU-Northern head coach Jerome Souers a rude welcome, beating the Lights 31-3 at Simplot Stadium.
Yotes quarterbacks Andy Peters and Ryan Hibbs each threw touchdown passes and Hunter Gilbert and Ed Osterberger each scored TDs on the ground. Receiver Jake Nadley caught seven passes for 136 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown from Hibbs that made the score 24-0 with 7:13 left in the third quarter.
Hibbs had 109 passing yards and Peters finished with 139. Allamar Alexander led C of I in rushing with 74 yards and had a touchdown catch. Gilbert rushed for 72 yards.
Northern, which was held to five first downs, scored toward the end of the third quarter when Kaden Nelson made a 25-yard field goal.
Defensively, Dylan Wampler led Northern with 2½ sacks and an interception.
The game marked Souers’ head coaching debut with the Lights. Souers, formerly a defensive coordinator at the University of Montana, spent 21 seasons as the head coach at Northern Arizona in the Big Sky Conference. He spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Southern Oregon in the Frontier.
MSU-Northern (0-1) will host Southern Oregon next Saturday, while C of I (1-0) will visit Rocky.
Montana Tech 38, Eastern Oregon 3
LA GRANDE, Ore. — Jet Campbell threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others and Montana Tech routed Eastern Oregon 38-3 in a prime time matchup.
Campbell started hot, staking the Orediggers to a 14-0 first-quarter lead with touchdowns passes to Blake Counts for 4 yards and Logan Kennedy for 18 yards.
Campbell left the game in the second quarter and was replaced by backup Blake Thelen, who completed 5 of 8 throws before intermission. But Campbell returned after halftime and scored on a 4-yard run early in the third quarter to put Tech ahead 21-0. In the fourth quarter he ran for a 2-yard score.
Blake Counts added a 10-yard touchdown run for Tech with 3:29 remaining.
Campbell finished 17-of-25 passing for 235 yards Counts had 97 rushing yards on 20 attempts.
Tech’s defense limited EOU to 191 yards and seven first downs, and forced four turnovers. Jake Orvis, Naoki Harmer and Matt Whitcomb intercepted passes. Orvis also recovered a fumble.
The Orediggers (1-0) will host Carroll next week. Eastern Oregon (0-1) will travel to face Montana Western.