BILLINGS — Winning their home opener and the first conference game of the 2019 season, the No. 23 ranked Battlin’ Bears defeated the MSU-Northern Lights 53-34 Saturday afternoon on Herb Klindt Field. (Stats)
A 39-yard field goal put the Lights up by three early in the first quarter, but Rocky responded nearly a minute later with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Dick to running back Sam Sparks. Drew Korf put Rocky up by 10 halfway through the quarter off a 15-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Overton.
MSU-Northern’s response came in the form of Jake Norby who sacked Dick and forced a fumble. The Lights recovered and capitalized on the opportunity a few plays later to draw the score within three points at 13-10. The following drive, MSU-Northern’s Japerri Powell forced and recovered another fumble deep in Rocky territory after sacking Dick. Another field goal by Dayak tied the game at 13-13 through the end of the first quarter.
Korf quickly vaulted Rocky ahead with a pair of long touchdown passes to Josh Kraft early in the second quarter. The Lights’ Keagan Stroop scored a few minutes later, but a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Sparks wrapped up the first half with the Battlin’ Bears leading 34-20.
In the second half, Medina found Marvin Williams Jr. twice for 14 points while Rocky’s Korf hit Carter Garsjo for his fourth and fifth touchdown passes of the game.
With nearly two minutes left in the game, the score sat at 46-34. Victor Ngalamulume raced down the field for a 33-yard rushing touchdown and the final score of the game.
Off the bench, Korf finished 24-of-42 in the air for 332 yards and five touchdowns.
Kraft caught seven receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns while Garsjo had seven receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Overton caught a team-high 10 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Sparks rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown in addition to catching a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Jimmy Henderson, Ty Reynolds, Tim Hunter, and Wyatt Brusven all pulled in an interception for Rocky. Henderson led the team with eight tackles.
Chad Nebel, Ari Johnson, and Prince Johnson each recorded a sack for the Battlin’ Bears.
Medina was 20-of-44 for 263 yards four touchdowns and four interceptions for the Lights. Marvin Williams Jr. caught five receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
The Battlin’ Bears will travel to Helena, Montana next week to play Carroll College.
— RMC Sports Information