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Freshman kicker on the rise at Rocky Mountain College

Posted at 8:35 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 14:28:35-04

BILLINGS – Just as Rocky Mountain College’s football team climbed to No. 14 in the NAIA’s latest top 25 poll, the Battlin’ Bears hit the road for back-to-back conference affairs. That means every phase of the game generally becomes more magnified.

Bears fans likely remember the sidebar of Week 1 when Rocky had to borrow a soccer player to handle kicking duties. That went pretty well. But then Gregor Watson hit the road with his soccer mates.

Now, Rocky freshman Jason Miller is back on the field after recovering from surgery earlier this summer, and he’s working to get stronger. The Billings Senior High School graduate had a 46-yard field goal attempt blocked by Dickinson State in Saturday’s win, but Miller was 3-for-3 on point-after attempts and he’s 8-for-9 since joining the team.

“Jason Miller is getting better and better, feeling healthier and healther each week,” said head coach Jason Petrino.

It’s no secret rebuilding strength takes time, especially after surgery.

“He’s very limited in some of the deep kicks when it comes to kickoff,” continued Petrino, “and we kind of know what his benchmark is when we’re in the red zone area, in terms of what he’s comfortable with and what he’s able to kick. But he gets better and better each week, and we’ll see what he can do.”

None of Rocky’s opening three games has been decided by less than 11 points, but with a pair of road tests ahead, the kicking game could prove to be a difference maker. And Petrino is confident in his freshman.

“We can get more out of him, for sure,” the coach said.

The Bears are at Montana Western Saturday before heading to the College of Idaho next weekend.