BUTTE — Blake Thelen threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns Saturday and No. 15-ranked Montana Tech knocked off No. 7 College of Idaho in Frontier Conference football at Alumni Coliseum.
Orediggers running back Blake Counts rushed for 72 yards and scored the game's first two touchdowns, helping Tech jump out to a 17-7 lead. Counts scored on runs of 9 and 2 yards in the game's first five minutes.
Thelen hit Mark Estes with a 43-yard touchdown pass with 13:35 left in the second quarter to give Tech a 24-7 advantage. Thelen hooked up with Levi Torgerson later in the second as the Diggers grabbed a 31-14 advantage.
In the third quarter, C of I got a 3-yard touchdown run by Jon Schofield to pull within 34-28. But Montana Tech's Landers Smith scored on a 1-yard run with 8:51 left in the game, and the Orediggers kept the Yotes off the board in teh final quarter to secure the win.
Elsewhere in the Frontier ...
No. 10 Carroll 35, Arizona Christian 20
HELENA — Duncan Kraft rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns and Carroll finished off Arizona Christian in the fourth quarter Saturday for a 35-20 win.
Kraft had a 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and an 8-yard scoring run in the second as the Saints took a 14-10 lead. Jack Prka's 13-yard TD pass to Ryan Rickman helped Carroll build a 21-10 advantage before halftime.
Arizona Christian fought back with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Dion Gilbert and a 23-yard field goal Abiel Lepe pulled the Firestorm within 21-20 in the third quarter. But Carroll finished the game in the fourth with a 5-yard touchdown run by Max Lehman and a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by Ben Melhaff.
Prka threw for 149 yards and a touchdown while Chris Akulschin finished with 71 receiving yards for the Saints. Elijah Larson and Jacob Resch had nine tackles each to lead Carroll's defense.
Montana Western 24, Southern Oregon 23
DILLON — A 17-yard touchdown pass from Michael Palandri to Eli Nourse with 42 seconds left gave Montana Western the winning points in a 24-23 victory over Southern Oregon on Saturday.
Palandri also hit Nourse with a 28-yard TD pass with 9:24 remaining as the Bulldogs erased an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Southern Oregon took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 46-yard touchdown throw from Matt Struck to Jack Clemmer, and the Raiders led the entire way — until Nourse's second TD catch with less than a minute left.
Nourse had a monster day, with 13 catches for 169 yards and those two touchdowns. Palandri completred 25 of 38 passes for 269 yards and three TDs.
Rocky Mountain 13, Eastern Oregon 7
LA GRANDE, Ore. — A Luke Holcomb touchdown pass and two Austin Drake field goals were enough for Rocky Mountain College to top Eastern Oregon 13-7 on Saturday.
Holcomb connected with Joseph Dwyer on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Drake made field goals of 19 and 24 yards as the Battlin' Bears took a 13-0 lead into halftime.
Eastern Oregon got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard TD run by Tanner Sweek to cut into Rocky's lead, but the Bears' defense held EOU to just 193 yards of total offense.
Eastern Oregon drove moved the ball to the Rocky 42 late in the game but the Bears forced a turnover on downs and were able to run out the clock.