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Reese Neville totals 217 yards, Western holds off Carroll

Posted at 5:03 PM, Aug 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 11:13:51-04

DILLON  — Reese Neville made the absolute most of his debut with the Bulldogs.

The redshirt senior running back rumbled for 167 yards and two touchdowns while adding 50 receiving yards as Montana Western rallied in the final quarter and outlasted Carroll College 26-22 in the Bulldogs' first game since 2019.

Western, which won all five of its home games during the 2019 season, hasn't dropped a game at Vigilante Stadium since November 16, 2018.

Neville, a transfer from the University of Nevada, averaged 6.7 yards per carry on 25 attempts, outshining Carroll's star running back Matthew Burgess who had 86 yards, 65 of them on a single run in the first quarter.

Neville's touchdown scores were a 4-yard run on Western's opening drive to put the Bulldogs on the board first and a 10-yard scamper in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a 14-point lead. He had 217 all-purpose yards.

Following Western's opening score, Burgess' big run setup the Saints for a 26-yard field goal from Stephen Powell to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 7-3.

On the first play of the second quarter, Western (1-0) quarterback Jon Jund capped off an 11-play, 44-yard drive with a 3-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 13-3.

Carroll (0-1) trimmed into Western's lead a few drives later with a safety off a botched punt to make it 13-5 at the half.

Neville then scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter to expand Western's lead to 19-5.

The Saints then reeled off three unanswered scores -- a 15-yard touchdown run from Duncan Kraft, a 25-yard field goal from Powell, and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Devan Bridgewater to Tony Collins -- to take a 22-19 lead with 9 minutes remaining in the game.

Western needed one more score, and they got it from Jund, who finished off a 5-play, 40-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback keeper just before the 2-minute warning.

Overall, Jund finished with minus-18 rushing yards despite his two scores on the ground. He completed 17-of-26 passes for 186 yards.

Bridgewater connected on 23-of-40 passes and his lone touchdown pass. His longest pass was a 29-yard completion to Kyle Pierce.

Western's defense did its part, racking up five sacks and nine tackles for a loss.

Carroll College hosts Montana Tech next Saturday while Western travels to Eastern Oregon.