FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Montana Tech and Saint Francis are tied at 14 halfway through their NAIA quarterfinal football game at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.
Clay Cavender and Nolan Saraceni ran for touchdowns to lead the Orediggers, who welcomed the return of quarterback Quinn McQueary.
A 46-yard by Cavender on the opening drive set up a 2-yard Saraceni run to put the Orediggers up 7-0 with 12 minutes, 12 seconds left in the first quarter after Matt Berg’s extra point.
The Cougars answered with 14 straight points.
Nick Ferrer hit Seth Coate for an 18-yard score to tie the game at 7 with 5:25 left in the first. The Cougars took a 14-7 lead with a 2-yard Justin Green run with 10:15 on the second-quarter clock.
Following a short punt, the Cougars were in business again, looking to add to the lead.
But Jacob Crawford made a huge play, stopping Green for a 3-yard loss on fourth and 1 from the Oredigger 22.
Tech capitalized on the big play, as Cavender scored on a 12-yard run to tie the game with 2:24 left in the first half.
The half ended in ugly fashion as Saint Francis receiver Seth Stuart hit tech defensive back Anthony Nelson with a vicious, late block on the sideline. Stuart was ejected for targeting.
After staying down for a few minutes, Nelson got up.
Coupled with a personal foul for a face mask, the 30 yards in penalties killed the drive for the Cougars.
Cavender has racked up 82 yards on five carries. He also has four receptions for 29 yards. Saraceni ran for 47 yards on 17 carries, while Alec Bray caught three passes for 26 yards.
McQueary completed 9 of 11 passes for 66 yards.
Green has 120 yards on 13 carries. Ferrer completed 10 passes for 199 yards for 109 yards. He was picked off by Will Davey. That was Davey’s fifth interception on the season.
Saint Francis will receive the opening kickoff of the second half.