Diggers close spring, entertain kids

Montana Tech’s football team closed spring drills Saturday with the offense edging the defense 32-23 in the Green and White Game at Alumni Coliseum.

More importantly, the Orediggers made some fans for life with free kids clinic that followed.

“That’s kind of a testament to our guys when you see what they’re doing right now,” Tech coach Chuck Morrell said as he watched his players put young kids through some drills. “They’re spending time and having fun. They know that they’re role models and the kids are looking up to them.”

The Orediggers gave some reason to look up to them on the field as well.

Junior running back Taylor Rowe highlighted Tech’s offense as the squad outpaced the defense according to the team’s spring game scoring system. Rowe, who will likely be the primary backup to team MVP Pat Hansen, ran for a pair of touchdowns and several bruising gains in front of a nice crowd.

“He’s been playing so fast all spring,” Morrell said of Rowe. “I’m excited about him going into the fall. He’s shown us the most consistency since he’s been here.”

Senior fullback Tyson Shriver capped a solid spring with a touchdown run.

“I’m very pleased,” Morrell said. “We ran the ball very well.”

Senior quarterback Brian Schwarzkoph, who cemented the starting job during the spring, ran the offense well, and newcomer Clay Cavender broke some runs that showed why Morrell calls him “lightning in a bottle.”

Cavender also hit Sam Hall in the back corner of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Hall juggled the ball before getting his feet down just in time.

The defensive highlight of the game came from junior linebacker Mike Touzinsky, who tipped a pass to himself for an interception. Then, Touzinsky outran the offense for a touchdown of about 45 yards.

“Mike’s got a knack for finding the football,” Morrell said. “He finds a way to be around the football. He not only takes the football away, but you know he’s going to try to do something with it. That’s exciting.”

Overall, Morrell said it was a productive spring for the Orediggers, the defending Frontier Conference champions who open the 2013 season Sept. 7 at Eastern Washington.

“We came out healthy and we got a lot of things done,” Morrell said. “We developed our young guys a bunch. That’s the best part about it is taking these young guys and teaching them the game of football.”

Montana Tech offensive lineman Clay Thomas tries to stay upright as he holds a pad for a young Oredigger fan to hit during a blocking drill Saturday.
Montana Tech junior running back Taylor Rowe busts through the middle for his second touchdown of the day.