HELENA– The Carroll College Fighting Saints’ final Frontier Conference football game, and last chance at a winning season, was spoiled by the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers, 8-7, on Saturday.
The Saints came into the contest riding a two-game win streak, where they averaged nearly 46 points per game. The Mountaineers went in after two straight losses, but averaged more than 29 points per game over the first nine games of the season.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter until Eastern Oregon broke the tie with a 25-yard field goal by Nathan Harden.
Carroll’s special team’s unit struggled early in the second quarter when the Mountaineers blocked a punt that would lead to a safety after a Carroll player swatted the ball out of the back of the end zone. The first and only touchdown of the game wouldn’t come until the last play of the first half, when Kolby Killoy scrambled to his right to find Shane Sipes near the front right corner of the end zone to put the Saints up 7-5 headed into halftime.
The next near attempt at a scoring drive wouldn’t come for either team until well into the fourth quarter, when Killoy tried to air one out to Sipes again from the 31-yard line, but it was intercepted near the goal line by Eastern Oregon’s Justin Hughes. The Mountaineers wouldn’t squander the opportunity as Kai Quinn connected with Gabe Giacci for 45 yards. The Mountaineers couldn’t get anything else going on the drive until Harden drilled another field goal, this time from 49 yards out to put the Mountaineers on top 8-7.
Carroll did not go down with out a fight. After being sacked twice, Killoy found Sipes for a 26-yard completion that would start a drive that would end at Eastern Oregon’s 1-yard line.
On 4th-and-goal, Carroll head coach Mike Van Diest opted to kick a field goal that would likely secure the win, but it never came to fruition. The Mountaineers’ Eli Teuteu blocked the 18-yard attempt to secure the victory for Eastern Oregon, ending the Saints’ season at 5-6.