Orediggers bounce back with win on Hi-Line

HAVRE — Talk about a bounce-back performance by the Montana Tech Orediggers.

Tech had a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and five quarterback sacks Saturday, and the Orediggers beat MSU-Northern 23-13 in a Frontier Conference football game on Tilleman Field. (Stats)

“We had a tough one last week,” Oredigger coach Kyle Samson said, directing praise to his players and assistant coaches. “I’m super proud to bounce back on the road.”

Jet Campbell passed for 300 yards on the nose. He also tossed three first half touchdowns — to three different receivers — as the Orediggers took a 20-7 lead into halftime.

Campbell scrambled before finding Blake Counts for a 23-yard touchdown pass to start the game.

After Northern’s Izayah Boos broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run, Campbell found Kyle Torgerson for a 20-yard strike. With 1 minute, 3 seconds left on the second quarter clock, Campbell hit Trevor Hoffman for a 34-yard touchdown.

“I’m so proud of him for bouncing back after a tough one last week,” Samson said of his quarterback. “He really set the tone early. He really made a great play on that first touchdown. He played really well all day. He just made some bigtime throws.”

Counts ran for 104 yards on 25 carries. Torgerson caught six passes for 80 yards, and Hoffman made a return after missing last week’s loss to Montana Western with an injury.

“He had a big touchdown catch and he moved the chains for us,” Samson said of Torgerson. “It was nice to have Trevor back.”

Northern pulled to within 20-13 when Devonte Armstrong hit Jake Horner for an 8-yard score late in the third quarter.

Tech’s Jared Griffith, though, booted a 35-yard field goal with 2:56 left in the game to put the win to bed.

Samson praised Griffith, whose confidence was not shook after missing a PAT on the first touchdown. Of course, the wind was a factor on the Hi-Line, too.

Zach Trumble and Keyshawn James-Newby each registered a pair of sacks to lead the Tech defense. Trumble had a monster day with four and a half tackles for a loss. Cole Wyant also had a sack for the Orediggers.

Angel Sanchez III picked off pass, and Naoki Harmer and Teddy Croft were each credited with a pass breakup.

“I was really really rpoud of our defense. They came out with some big, big plays,” Samson said. “Getting five sacks today. That is huge. That quarterback is big and athletic.”

The Oredigger special teams also got into the act with a blocked punt and a few big returns by Mark Estes.

“It was a good team win,” Samson said.

Montana Tech will be back at home next weekend when the Orediggers celebrate Hall of Fame weekend with a game against the College of Idaho.