(Editor's note: Carroll College media release)
HELENA -- The Carroll College Fighting Saints fell 47-14 to No. 8 College of Idaho on Saturday at Nelson Stadium.
“College of Idaho is a very, very good, solid ball club,” Saints coach Troy Purcell said. “They’re a veteran ground. Veteran coaching staff. They came in with a 10-game winning streak coming into this. My hats off to them.
“We just couldn’t hang with them. We just have to keep battling and keep getting better. We didn’t show our true colors or our true team today. Not taking anything away from the College of Idaho. They’re a very, very good football team.”
COI (5-0) drew first blood, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter when Darius-James Peterson hooked up with John Horn for a 21-yard score. The Yotes would miss the PAT.
The Saints (2-3) responded as Jaden Harrison caught his first touchdown of the season, a four-yard slant from Devan Bridgewater.
“It was important in the first half (to respond) because we were definitely in the ball game,” Harrison said. “It was important to move the ball and get in the end zone.”
That momentary flow of offense didn’t last long.
COI rolled off 41 consecutive points.
The Saints had their plays, too. Moments like Colin Sassano’s interception before halftime, or Zach Spiroff’s forced fumble. Payton Sexe’s big sack, or the numerous tackles for losses. Unfortunately, those plays didn’t jumpstart the Saints' offense.
“Sometimes you get momentum out of situations like that,” Sassano said. “Sometimes you don’t.”
But, even with strong defensive plays, the Yotes were unrelenting in their attack, especially through the air.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Harrison said. We didn’t play up to our potential, especially on offense. The second half they made some good adjustments. They’re a good football team. I think it was just a perfect storm of things going wrong for us.”
Peterson finished with 39 pass attempts, completing 22 of them for 334 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.
“That quarterback is spot on though,” Purcell said. “He’s a lot better throwing than I thought. Not that I underestimated him. I thought they would run the ball more and be more one-dimensional with some play-action in between it. Their coaches did a great job. They broke away from some tendencies and executed.”
The COI rushing attack generated 227 yards on 41 carries with four different runners.
The Saints as a group rushed for 149 yards on 29 carries, led by Matt Burgess’ 10 carries for 52 yards.
Carroll ran only 51 plays on the day and was unable to find ways to keep the offense on the field.
The Saints face Montana Western at home next weekend.