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Jon Jund throws 4 TDs, No. 23 Montana Western routs Tech

Posted at 5:34 PM, Sep 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 19:34:59-04

BUTTE  — For the first time in seven meetings, home field advantage was not the deciding factor in the Montana Western-Montana Tech series.

The script was flipped -- dramatically.

Jon Jund threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, all to different receivers, and the No. 23 Bulldogs romped to a 45-21 blowout over the Orediggers on Saturday at Bob Green Field, winning in Butte for the first time since August 23, 2014.

Reigning Frontier Conference Player of the Week Nate Simkins was held without a touchdown catch a week after having three of them, but he led Western with 131 receiving yards. Tech's Kiley Caprara led all receivers with 188 yards.

Tech, which earned its first win of the season last week at Rocky Mountain College, falls to 1-3 while Western improves to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the Frontier Conference.

Eastern Oregon, which handed Western its lone defeat of the season so far on Sept. 4, lost it's first game on Saturday to The College of Idaho. The Bulldogs now have the highest overall record in the Frontier -- being the only team that has played five games so far -- and Western, COI, EOU and Rocky Mountain College now all sit at 3-1 in conference play.

For Western head coach Ryan Nourse, the Bulldogs' convincing win was the most complete game he has seen out of his team this season.

"We hadn't played a game yet this year, we'd played quarters," said Nourse. "I was really proud of the guys. We knew they would load the box and we were going to have to throw the ball a little bit more. But we were able to, obviously."

Western's drought in the Mining City wasn't on Nourse's mind in this one.

"Just zone it out," Nourse said. "Those things are kind of fun and I know about them and people tell me about them. It really was just to come down and play a game, to execute. To go against a good opponent and make the plays that need to be made. That's what we wanted to do on offense and we did it for most of the game."

After watching Tech grab the first score on a 4-yard touchdown run from Blake Counts, Western answered back emphatically, reeling off six unanswered scores -- five touchdowns and a field goal -- to roll to a 38-7 lead in the fourth quarter before Tech salvaged its loss with a pair of late-game touchdowns, long after the final outcome had been determined.

The Bulldogs tied the game in the first quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run from Reese Neville, then tacked on a 4-yard rushing score from Colten McPhee early in the second quarter to take the lead. Jund threw two touchdown passes -- a 50-yard score to Jamison Hermanson and a 28-yard strike to Trey Mounts -- before the half and then hit hit McPhee for a 28-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.

John Mears booted a 29-yard field goal to give Western its insurmountable 38-7 lead early in the fourth quarter before Tech scored on an 11-yard touchdown from Jet Campbell to Kyle Torgerson.

Western's Elijah Benedick then found the end zone on a 17-yard rush to put the Bulldogs up 45-14 before Counts scored his second touchdown of the game, this one from 1 yard out in the final minute.

Western travels to Billings to take on Rocky Mountain College next week while Tech goes to Havre to face MSU-Northern.