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Frontier roundup: No. 15 Carroll rallies late, knocks off No. 14 St. Thomas

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Posted at 8:34 PM, Sep 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-10 00:20:25-04

HELENA — Jack Prka's 26-yard touchdown pass to Chris Akulschin and Kaden Gardner's subsequent interception lifted No. 15 Carroll College to a 26-23 victory Saturday over No. 14 St. Thomas (Fla.) at Nelson Stadium.

Akulschin hauled in Prka's touchdown throw with 55 seconds remaining, after Carroll got a safety pull within 23-18. A two-point conversion following the TD gave the Saints a three-point lead.

Gardner's interception of St. Thomas quarterback Keely Watson on the ensuing drive sealed the victory for Carroll, which moved to 2-0. St. Thomas fell to 1-2. The Bobcats' previous loss was a one-point overtime defeat to NCAA Division I FCS Stetson.

Carroll trailed 23-16 with 9:34 left after St. Thomas' Keely Watson found David Hayes with a 25-yard touchdown pass. Prka was later intercepted inside the 5, but the Bobcats remained pushed back in their own territory and gave Carroll a safety when the punter ran out of the back of the end zone with 1:08 left.

The Saints then took over after a St. Thomas free kick, which set Carroll up to score the eventual game-winning points.

No. 12 College of Idaho 37, Montana Western 35

CALDWELL, Idaho — No. 12-ranked College of Idaho stunned Montana Western on Saturday, scoring a game-winning touchdown on a walk-off Hail Mary to eke out a 37-35 Frontier Conference football win at Simplot Stadium.

The Yotes, trailing 35-31, moved the ball to the Western 25-yard line with just seconds remaining in the game. With four wide receivers lined up to his right, quarterback Andy Peters rolled right and lofted the ball toward a crowd in the back of the end zone. As players jumped out of the end zone, the ball was deflected back into the field of play, where Jon Schofield caught the improbable touchdown.

Peters finished with 335 yards passing and another 103 yards rushing for C of I. Schofield found the end zone three times for the Yotes, scoring on another pass from Peters in the first quarter and adding a touchdown run in the second.

Michael Palandri, the reigning Frontier Conference offensive football player of the week, hooked up with Eli Nourse for a 31-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give Western a 7-0 lead. Palandri ran in a 6-yard touchdown later in the first and threw a 37-yard score to Raef Newbrough in the second, as the teams traded first-half scores en route to a 21-21 tie at halftime.

C of I took a 31-21 lead after three quarters behind a 35-yard field goal and a 6-yard touchdown run from Hunter Gilbert, but Western scored two touchdowns in the fourth — a 1-yard DJ Kirven run and a 33-yard pass from Palandri to Nourse — to take a 35-31 lead with 1:04 left in the game.

No. 16 Montana Tech 37, Central Washington 29

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Blake Thelen threw four touchdown passes, including two to Wyatt Alexander, to help No. 16 Montana Tech to a 37-29 win over Central Washington at Tomlinson Stadium on Saturday.

After Thelen found Levi Torgerson for the game's first touchdown, Central Washington eventually took a 21-16 lead into the second half. From there, the Orediggers scored 21 unanswered points on Thelen touchdown passes to Alexander and Derek Pearse and a rushing touchdown from Jordan Jackson to pull away. Thelen finished 15-of-31 passing for 271 yards, the four touchdowns and an interception. Alexander caught five passes for 116 yards and two TDs, and Blake Counts added 126 rushing yards on 28 carries.

Tech (1-1) next hosts Eastern Oregon (0-2) in a Frontier Conference matchup at 1 p.m. on Sept. 16.