PHOENIX — Montana State-Northern built a 17-0 lead and then held off Arizona Christian’s comeback attempt to kick off the 2019 season with a 20-14 win on Saturday.
Former Belt High School standout Keagan Stroop put the Lights on the board in the first quarter with a 26-yard touchdown run. Bryce Bumgardner added a second MSUN touchdown, catching a 9-yard pass from Brenden Medina.
Troy Dayak’s 27-yard field goal gave the Lights a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
Arizona Christian responded with two third-quarter touchdowns — both passes from Emilio Ariza to Jon Cole — to get back within 17-14, but the Lights were able to secure the win in the fourth quarter. Dayak added a 44-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
Medina finished the game 23-of038 passing for 247 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Bumgardner and Damari Davis each finished with seven receptions and combined for 129 yards.
Jett Robertson led the Lights’ ground attack, carrying the ball 14 times for 64 yards.
MSU-Northern (1-0) starts Frontier Conference play on Sept. 7 with a trip to Rocky Mountain College (1-0).