BILLINGS – The No. 21 Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears scored 20 straight points between the 2nd and 3rd quarters to beat No. 2 Southern Oregon 34-21 Saturday afternoon in front of a packed house at Herb Klindt Field.
Rocky had only won once in series history against Southern Oregon before Saturday, including back-to-back one-point losses the last two seasons.
After a scoreless first quarter, Rocky quarterback Jacob Bakken found Max Gray on a 34-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to put the Bears up 7-0. SOU star running back Rey Vega answered with a one-yard TD run on the Raiders’ ensuing possession to tie the game 7-7.
Rocky responded immediately, as Bakken scored on a four-yard QB keeper to regain a 14-7 lead. Vega answered right back with his second TD on Southern Oregon’s ensuing drive, but Dillon Johnson put the Bears up 17-14 with a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Rocky received the opening kickoff of the third quarter and picked up where they left off. A methodical drive led to another Johnson field goal, then after forcing a Raiders punt, Bakken found Darneail Jenkins for a 27-yard touchdown to put Rocky up 27-14. Bakken threw his third TD pass on Rocky’s next drive, a five-yard fade to Lucas Overton to put the Bears up 34-14 and the game out of reach.
Bakken threw for 240 yards and ran for 87 more, accounting for four touchdowns in the win.
Rocky’s defensive line sacked Raiders QB Wyatt Hutchinson seven times, three from captain Ryder Rice. Kirk Durtsche led the team in tackles with 11. Keenan Fagan also hauled in his fourth interception of the year.
Rocky moves to 3-2 in the Frontier Conference with the win, one game behind Southern Oregon and Montana Western at 4-1.
The Battlin’ Bears stay at home next Saturday with their homecoming game against Montana State Northern. Kickoff is schedule for 1:00 p.m.