BUTTE — A new chapter of the growing rivalry between Montana Tech and Southern Oregon was ready to be written Saturday.
And the Orediggers added a 17-14 win on their extra-special Hall of Fame weekend.
Montana Tech struck first on a fake play-action where quarterback Jet Campbell hid the ball and scrambled into the end zone to make it 7-0 Diggers with about 10 minutes left tin the first quarter. In addition to the rushing touchdown, Campbell finished 19-of-31 passing for 246 yards. He also caught a touchdown pass.
Southern Oregon responded a few drives later, though, when Wyatt Hutchinson, who finished 15-of-33 passing for 152 yards and two touchdowns, found Addison Whitham to tie the game at 7-7.
Tech drove down the field just before haltime, and on third down from the 7-yard line offensive coordinator Kyle Samson reached into his bag of tricks to find a double-reverse pass. Campbell handed the ball to Blake Counts, who then flipped it to Kiley Caprara, who then threw it back to a wide-open Campbell who trotted in for six. Montana Tech, with all the momentum, would take a 17-7 lead into halftime.
Southern Oregon would strike late in the third quarter. Hutchinson was flushed out of the pocket, but he hit Jordan Suell for the touchdown, making it a three-point ball game heading into the fourth.
Defense stepped up for both teams and no points would be put on the board in the fourth. But a scary moment happened late as Hutchinson took a brutal double-hit from two Oredigger defenders and eventually would be carted off the field on a stretcher and taken to the hospital via ambulance. As of right now, we can report it is a spine injury.
With one last shot, SOU backup QB Chase Knutz was intercepted on the ensuing play.
Montana Tech would run the clock out on the following offensive possession to seal the 17-14 win and improve to 2-1 in 2019. Southern Oregon drops to 0-4 with the loss.
During halftime Montana Tech's Hall of Fame celebrations took place. Among the inductees were Dan Mahoney, who was a three-sport athlete for the Orediggers from 1970-73, participating in football, basketball, and baseball. Laura (Stout) Mortensen was a setter for the Oredigger volleyball team from 1990-93. A four-year starter, Mortensen earned all-conference accolades every season of her collegiate career. David Barrick, who has been a dedicated supporter and contributor to Montana Tech athletics since 2002, was also recognized. And finally, three men's basketball teams from the Kelvin Sampson era were the final inductees in the 2019 class. Montana Tech won just 17 games combined in the three years before Sampson's arrival in Butte. After a last-place finish in the conference standings in his first season at the helm, Sampson produced three straight 22-win seasons.