BILLINGS – When Rocky’s football guys open the season at 5 p.m. Thursday at Herb Klindt Field, they hope to answer some questions.
First at quarterback, where Bears have three solid candidates. Jacob Bakken and Drew Korf both saw starts last year, while former Senior QB and Gatorade Player of the Year Nate Dick is a freshman in the mix after transferring from the University of Montana.
Petrino says all three guys will play against Carroll on a series basis.
“Yeah let them kind of roll a little bit,” said Bears head coach Jason Petrino. “See how one does this series, one does that series type of deal. That’s kind of the plan right now. Early it’s easy to say, this is what we’re going to do. Late in the game it’s going to be a lot about feel and a lot about what we’re seeing from Carroll.”
But here’s the kicker… literally. The Bears are trying to replace All-American Griff Amies who graduated. RMC brought in two freshmen. One left the team. Petrino said coaches thought the other would be available this week after a July surgery, but that’s not the case. So, Petrino negotiated with soccer coach Richard Duffy for a one-week deal.
“Pretty quickly here (we were) scrambling to find somebody and reached out to Coach Duffy, and he’s letting us use one of his soccer players.
The problem is we can only use him Thursday because they’re on the road,” Petrino laughed.
Gregor Watson is an overseas player who seemingly knew very little, if anything, about American football before arriving.
“Having him put a helmet on,” Petrino smiled, “I was there and it was awkward for him. He’s from Scotland, so I guarantee it was the first time he’d put a helmet on. First time he’d put shoulder pads on, and everything else. but he’s appreciative of it. Came over here to the states, thought he was playing soccer and here he is playing football!”
And if he has to make a special teams tackle?
“I don’t know,” Petrino laughed again, “that’s the thing. I told him as long as you kick it out of bounds or kick it out of the end zone, you’ll never have to worry about tackling.”