Diggers shine in Green and White game

By Pat Ryan

The Green and White put on a good show Saturday afternoon at Bob Green Field, as Montana Tech’s football team placed an exclamation point at the end of spring drills.

The Oredigger offense looked sharp behind senior quarterback Quinn McQueary, but it was the White-shirted defensive front that showed its experience by making a home in the Green backfield.

“Our defensive line is our most experienced group on our whole team,” Montana tech head coach Chuck Morrell said following the scrum. “We have a ton of guys back at that spot with a lot of leadership. We’re a little bit nicked up on the offensive line right now and we had to move a lot of guys around later in the week. It’s nothing long-term, but we’re just trying to keep guys healthy in the off season.”

McQueary, a senior who led the Orediggers to their second-straight Frontier championship and postseason appearance before making an early exit with a broken hand last season, threw a pair of red-zone touchdown passes, both to senior wide out Chris Kelly.

“Our receivers made some big-time plays early on in the scrimmage,” Morrell said. “We’ve got some length out there and I’m excited about the combination of those guys and Quinn in the fall.”

Butte sophomore Danny Peoples led the Oredigger offense through some solid series, including a short scoring pass to senior Chris Lachance, but there’s no quarterback controversy this year at Montana Tech.

Butte sophomore Danny Peoples puts up a pass at Saturday’s Green and White scrimmage. (Pat Ryan photo)

“We’re going to ride the wave with Quinn, no doubt about it,” Morrell said. “The success of 2017 Tech football runs through Quinn McQueary, but it’s also nice to see Danny step up and make some plays and watch as his confidence grows.”

Tech’s defense, which looked to have more growing to do after last season’s graduation losses, did a nice job creating turnovers. Diovonni Brewer picked off a pass, while the White defense scooped up a pair of fumbles.

“Our defense has taken some big strides,” Morrell said. “I knew it was a matter of time in terms of the volume of young guys we have playing and a lot of new faces in that crew. But defensively we had some opportunities to take the ball away, and to see our guys create some turnovers was a big positive.”

The Orediggers will return as a team in August in preparation for their season opener, a home contest against Frontier rival Carroll College. Still, the spring drills were nothing but positive for Morrell.

Montana Tech Receiver Chris Kelly, left, and defensive back Diovonni Brewer battle for a pass Saturday at Bob Green Field. (Pat Ryan photo)

“It was a fun time,” he said. “I love spring ball personally, because it’s an opportunity to coach young guys. We had so many new young talented guys who we got a chance to work with. Seeing those guys make strides was really important to me.

As well, Morrell was pleased with the progress his players showed in the offseason practices.

“We made a lot more progress on both sides of the ball than I anticipated,” he said. “It’s good to see that schematically we’re very advanced for just going through a couple weeks of practice in the spring, so we’re set up pretty nice for the fall.”