BUTTE — Montana Western’s three-touchdown burst between the end of the second quarter and the early part of the fourth helped the Bulldogs to a 38-28 victory over Frontier Conference rival and No. 11-ranked Montana Tech on Saturday and Alumni Coliseum.
Trailing 21-17, Eli Nourse scored on a 4-yard pass to put the Bulldogs in front with 18 seconds left before halftime. With 1:55 left in the third quarter, QB Michael Palandri scored on a 13-yard run, then Nourse found the end zone again on a 2-yard run with 9:36 left as Western took a 38-21 advantage.
A 37-yard touchdown pass from Blake Thelen to Jordan Jackson with 5:50 remaining brought Montana Tech within 10 points but the Bulldogs didn’t succumb.
Jake Humphrey had an 11-yard touchdown run for Western in the first quarter that tied the game 7-7. John Mears added a 21-yard field goal for the Bulldogs in the second.
Thelen threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns for Tech. Jackson finished with 153 receiving yards and two TDs. The Orediggers scored a defensive touchdown in the first quarter when Kameron Rauser returned a fumble 43 yards to the end zone.
Palandri finished with 224 passing yards while Pete Gibson had 102 rushing yards on 11 attempts for Western. Nourse caught seven balls for 81 yards.
The Bulldogs improved their overall record to 4-1 and moved to 2-1 in the Frontier. Tech is now 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
Elsewhere in the Frontier …
Southern Oregon 23, Rocky Mountain 5
BILLINGS — Avery McCuaig's three rushing touchdowns led Southern Oregon to a 23-5 road victory over Rocky Mountain College at Herb Klindt Field.
McQuaig scored three times on short-yardage runs, the last of which put Southern Oregon ahead 20-3 with 3:43 left before halftime. Rocky got on the board early in the second quarter with a 19-yard field goal by Austin Drake.
Rocky's only other points were the result of a safety, when quarterback Blake Asciutto — under presser in the end zone — intentionally grounded the ball. That pulled the Battlin' Bears within 20-5 on the scoreboard.
Southern Oregon tacked on a 22-yard field goal by Brian Batres with about 9:00 remaining to cap the scoring.
Rocky lost its second straight game and is now 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the Frontier Conference. Southern Oregon (2-3, 1-2) won its first league game of the season.
Eastern Oregon 28, MSU-Northern 3
HAVRE — Quincy Glasper threw three touchdown passes and Eastern Oregon handled Montana State-Northern 28-3.
Two of Glasper's TDs went to Malachi Spurrier — a 61-yard pass early in the first quarter and a 27-yard toss late in the third. Blake Davis hauled in a 70-yard scoring throw frmo Glasper early in the second quarter.
Tate O'Neill made a 25-yard field goal for Northern in the second quarter.
Glasper finished with 257 passing yards. Spurrier had 116 yards on six receptions. Mason Dionne carried the ball 31 times for Northern, finishing with 120 yards. Caymus Thomas led the lights in receiving with 53 yards on six catches.
Eastern Oregon is now 2-4 overall and evened its Frontier mark at 2-2. MSU-Northern slipped to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the league.