Diggers top Raiders in 2OT … again

No, that wasn’t a rerun. That really did happen.

Montana Tech used a Pat Hansen touchdown for a walk-off, double-overtime win over Southern Oregon Saturday at Alumni Coliseum.


This time it was a 1-yard touchdown in the north end zone that gave the Orediggers a 48-45 Homecoming win over the Raiders. This time it counted in Frontier Conference standings as the No. 16 Orediggers won their fourth straight win to improve to 4-1 on the season.

“They never make it easy on us,” Hansen said after rushing for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. “They’re a tough team, and we’re just happy to get the win.”

In the 2011 season opener, the Raiders were an independent team and they took on the Orediggers on a Saturday night in the Mining City. That night, Hansen scored on a 25-yard run in the second overtime as the Orediggers won the non-conference game 50-47.

“We had to bring everything to get the win today,” said Tech second-year coach Chuck Morrell, who improved to 3-0 at Tech in double overtime games. Tech beat Montana Western in a double-overtime game two weeks ago in Dillon. “I don’t know if that’s a state I’m proud of, but I’m proud of our guys. They just kept fighting to the finish.

“The big thing about our guys is they believe,” Morrell said. “They believe in each other, and that’s awesome.”

Saturday’s game lasted 3 hours, 40 minutes. It ended two plays after Nick Baker rolled left and hit 6-foot-5 receiver James Roberts for a 23-yard completion to the two yard line.

“It was just a scramble drill,” said Baker after passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns — two to Roberts. “I was trying to make a play when the play breaks down, and our receivers do a great job with that. The O-line does a great job. They protect. As long as the play is going, they are going.

“It’s easy when you get those guys making plays around you,” the junior quarterback added. “The offensive line did awesome protecting up front and guys were making catches all over the field.”

Hansen carried the ball to the 1-yard line on the next play, and half the distance to the goal was tacked on because of a personal foul on the tackle.

Then, Hansen busted through the left side of the offensive line. He ran through the end zone, where he was mobbed by teammates and fans in the tailgate area.

“Pat’s a horse,” said Tech senior cornerback Ketwuan Frank, who led the team with 12 tackles. “If you let him get the ball, he’s going to do something good with it. I believe in Pat.”

In true Pat Hansen fashion, the sophomore running back dished out the credit. He even used the same word as Frank.

“Those guys are horses. I love running behind them,” Hansen said of his offensive linemen. “They’re doing an awesome job.”

The win looked to be locked a couple of times, but the Raiders (2-2) found a way to tie the game.

Tech took a 42-35 lead with a touchdown in the first overtime. Baker hit Zack Kinney for an 11-yard strike.

When Southern Oregon had a chance to tie, the Orediggers moved to within one play of a victory when the defense forced a fourth-and-7 at the 22-yard line.

But sophomore quarter Austin Dodge hit a leaping Cole McKenzie for a touchdown pass in the back corner of the south end zone.

The Raiders got the ball first in the second overtime, and the Oredigger defense held, making the Southern Oregon settle for a 26-yard field goal by Colin Amsler. That proved to be not enough.

It didn’t look like the Orediggers would need overtime when Mike Touzinsky, who recorded 10 tackles while playing with a cast on his broken right hand, batted a Dodge pass on fourth down at the Oredigger 3.

Clay Sierra, though, caught the batted pass for a touchdown to tie the score with 4 minutes, 27 seconds left.

Both teams missed a field goal that could have won the game before overtime. Amsler missed from 41 with 34 seconds left in the game. Tech’s Matt Berg, who hit on kicks of 30 and 27 yards, missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired.

Berg had enough leg on the boot, but just missed wide left.

“They know how to make big plays, and I thought their kids made big plays all game,” Morrell said. “We just had a couple more.

“They’re an outstanding team. I think they obviously deserve to be ranked,” Morrell added. “We’ve got to go out there and deal with them again. They’re a great ballclub.”

Baker threw a pair of TD strikes in the second quarter to put the Orediggers on top 18-14 at halftime. He hit a leaping Braxton Lucero over the middle for a 15-yard score before finding Roberts in the back corner of the end zone on a 3-yard score.

McKenzie caught a 3-yard TD catch, out jumping a pair of Oredigger defenders and just getting his feet down in the side of the end zone, to open the third.

Berg tied the score with a field goal before Mike Olson turned a middle screen pass into a 46-yard touchdown pass from Dodge.

Hansen though, matched the score with a 46-yard scamper of his own, tying the game at 28 late in the third.

Roberts caught a 7-yard TD pass — diving to the end zone —to put Tech on top 35-28 with 14:24 left in the game.

That looked like it would hold until Sierra caught that batted pass.

“A win is a win. Over time, double overtime, it doesn’t matter how you get,” Frank said. “It just matters if you get a win, and that’s what we did.”

Kinney caught 10 passes for 76 yards for the Orediggers, While Hansen and Thomas each caught six passes. Hansen gained 78 yards. Thomas picked up 73.

Roberts caught five passes for 42 yards. Playing for injured Kevin Moss, freshman Alec Bray caught three passes for 30 yards. Craig Halko and Taylor Rowe also caught passes.

“After struggling for a couple of weeks, they finally stepped up, and they were unbelievable,” Morrell said of his offensive players. “They carried the defense today, and that’s what a team effort is all about.”

Manny Barragn rushed for 118 yards on 32 carries for the Raiders, while Dodge threw for 389 yards.

As a team, the Raiders put up 589 yards to Tech’s 545. The 589 is right about the average of the Raiders, the NAIA’s top offensive team.

Still, it seemed like the Oredigger defense actually played pretty good, despite the numbers that say otherwise.

Senior Joe Semansky was credited with nine tackles, while Luke Seubert recorded seven and Nate Thompson had five. David Meis, Logan Sims, Mike Waldman and Jacob Workman also had huge games for the Orediggers. Despite playing with an injury, Devonte Craig made several big plays at cornerback.

Nathan Kobold picked off a pass, and Touzinsky used his good hand to recover a fumble that was forced by Semansky.

“That was the best offense in the nation,” Semansky said. “We definitely stepped up and proved we belong. It means we’re for real.”

Baker agreed with the linebacker.

“I think the nation is going to be taking us pretty seriously,” he said.

The Orediggers, who now have a two-game lead in the Frontier Conference’s West Division, put their winning streak on the line next week at Dickinson State.

First, the Orediggers have to let this one set in.

“It was huge,” Morrell said. “I really felt like this was going to be the toughest game that we played so far this year. It’s a monster deal.”

Southern Oregon        11    3   14   7   7   3 — 45
Tech                             3   15   10   7   7   6 — 48
First Quarter
Tech — Matt Berg 27 field goal, 11:37
SOU — Colin Amsler 29 field goal, 7:57
SOU — Miek Olson 2 run (Clay Sierra pass from Austin Dodge), 15.1
Second Quarter
Tech — Braxton Lucero 15 pass from Nick Baker (Berg kick), 11:44
Tech — James Roberts 3 pass from Nick Baker (Alec Bray pass from Baker), 5:42
SOU — Amser 28 field goal, 0:00

Third Quarter
SOU — Cole McKenzie 5 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick), 11:07
Tech — Berg 30 field goal, 6:46
SOU — Mike Olson 46 pass from Dodge (Ansler kick), 4:21
Tech — Hansen 46 run (Berg kick), 1:09
Fourth Quarter
Tech — Roberts 7 pass from Baker (Berg kick), 14:24
SOU — Sierra 3 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick), 4:27
First Overtime
Tech — Zack Kinney 11 pass from Baker (Berg kick)
SOU — McKenzie 22 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
Second Overtime
SOU — Amser 26 field goal
Tech — Hansen 1 run
                                                SOU                Tech
First Downs                             30                    28
Rushes-Yards                          49-200           39-225
Passing Yards                          389                  320
Comp-Att-Int                           42-57-1            33-48-0
Total Yards                              106-589           87-545
Fumbles-Lost                          1-1                   2-1
Penalties                                  12-87               6-46
Punts-Ave.                               2-43                 3-39
— SOU, Manny Barragan 32-118, Olson 7-10, Zach Marshall 5-50, Amsler 1-16, Dodge 4-6. Tech, Hansen 24-173, Baker 11-47, Brian Schwarzkoph 1-4, Taylor Rowe 2-4, Trent Thomas 1-(-3).
PASSING — SOU, Dodge 42-56-1-389, Team 0-1-0-0. Tech, Baker 33-46-0-320, Alec Bray 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING — SOU, McKenzie 12-147, Olson 8-103, Patrick Donahue 13-80, Barragan 3-30, Justin Otaguro 2-16, Zach Marshall 2-5, Sean McShane 1-5, Sierra 1-3. Tech, Kinney 10-76, Hansen 6-78, Trent Thomas 6-73, Roberts 5-42, Bray 3-30, Braxton Lucero 1-15, Craig Halko 1-8, Rowe 1-(2).

Trent Thomas uses a block from James Roberts (82) to pick up yardage after the catch.
James Roberts dives for a touchdown in front of Southern Oregon’s Kevin Grossman in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker Mike Touzinsky played with a broken hand.
Devon Jones (95) runs off the field after a Tech sack. Luke Seubert (15) and Nathan Kobold (9) are also pictured.
Montana Tech’s Devonte Craig signals “no good” as Colin Amsler watches his field goal miss late in the fourth quarter.
Tech receiver Zack Kinney reacts after catching a touchdown in overtime.
With Ben Cook (73) leading the way, Pat Hansen scores the game-winning touchdown in double overtime.