Frontier notebook: Nelson crowd sets record

Saturday’s Frontier Conference football game between Montana Tech and Carroll College at Nelson Stadium drew a crowd of almost 9,000 people, according to Carroll College athletic director Bruce Parker.

The crowd was a school record at Carroll. It is also believed to be a Frontier Conference record.

Parker, along with several police officers at the game, said there were no reports of problems with either fan voice.

Saturday was the first time since 2011 that the Orediggers played at Nelson Stadium. The league split into divisions before last season, and Tech and Carroll only meet once per season under the current format of the Frontier Conference.

Tech won last year’s meeting in Butte. The Orediggers haven’t won in Helena since 2001. That was the first time the Orediggers played in Nelson Stadium.

Proud coach

When the Frontier Conference Players of the Week came out Monday afternoon, nobody was prouder than Centerville High School coach Ted Richards.

Two players from Centerville made the list. Montana Western freshman running back Sam Rutherford, who was last week’s top offensive player, and Carroll College receiver Jared Mayernik didn’t take home the awards, but that two former Centerville Miners were nominated was something that was not lost on their coach.

“Having two kids up for Player of the Week from a Class C school is unique,” said Richards, a Butte native. “I knew Sam could play but I always thought he would be a better linebacker. He always liked running back. Jared has no fear, great hands and is quick. Both were state champions in track.”

Mayernik, who lost out on the special teams award to a kicker who booted six extra points and a chip-shot field goal, had the play of the game in Carroll’s win over Tech. He returned a booming  Travis Farewell punt 90 yards for a touchdown and the first score of the game.

Rutherford, who transferred the University of Mary in Bismark, N.D., is emerging as a legend with the Bulldogs. One week after rushing for 185 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries, Rutherford went off for 245 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in Saturday’s win at Dickinson State.

Southern Oregon’s Melvin Mason’s 236 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards on Saturday, though, beat Rutherford out for the award. Mason was also named the NAIA Player of the Week.

Offensive show

Southern Oregon and Sacramento State gave new meaning to the term shootout Saturday at Hornet Stadium in Sacrament.

The Hornets of the Big Sky Conference beat the Frontier Conference Mountaineers 63-57 in overtime.

DeAndre Carter caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Safron in the extra stanza as Sac State held off the score from the winless Mountaineers.

The teams combined to put up 1,238 yards in the game. In addition to Mason’s big game, Southern got 366 yards and six touchdowns from quarterback Nick Dodge. Quaterback Austin Dodge passed for 366 yards and six touchdowns.  He completed just 47 percent of his passes (27 of 57) but wasn’t picked off.

Brothers Matt and Ryan Retzlaff each caught two TD passes. Ryan Retzlaff grabbed seven passes for 142 yards. Matt Retzlaff caught six for 40.

Lighting it up

Derek Lear’s knee is apparently all better.

The MSU-Northern senior quarterback returned after missing the Lights’ Sept. 7 loss at Carroll to throw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns to lead the lights to a 45-28 win over Eastern Oregon at Havre’s Blue Pony Stadium.

Both of Lear’s touchdowns went to Orin Johnson, who hauled in scoring strikes of 31 and 60 yards.

The Lights also got big-time production from freshman running back Zach McKinley rushed for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns.

Complete stats from the game are still unavailable because the Lights saw their stat-keeping system malfunction during the game.

Regardless of the numbers, Lear said the Lights offense is looking good.

“We executed better,” Lear told The Havre Daily News. “Our tempo has been good the last few weeks, but little key things have kept us out of the end zone. Today we started fast and finished fast. The big thing was our tempo. Once we got them (Mounties) on their heels, we knew we just had to keep going and going and we did that. So it felt really good for this offense to have the kind of game we knew we were capable of having.”

Looking ahead

The Orediggers officially christen the Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum Saturday when they play host to Western.

Tech will host an all-class football reunion to celebrate the occasion.

Rocky Mountain College, which had last week off, will get a chance to show that its 3-0 start is for real when the Battlin’ Bears play host to Carroll.

In other games, winless Dickinson State will travel to Havre to take on Northern, and Southern Oregon makes a trip across state to battle Eastern Oregon. 1 comment

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1 Comment

  • Ted Richards
    September 19, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Great article thanks ted


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