Two full classes of students have gone through Montana Tech since the following sentence could be written.
Montana Tech beat Carroll College in Football Saturday afternoon.
The Orediggers rode an opportunistic defense and an explosive offense to top the No 2-ranked Saints 37-20 in front of a crowd of about 5,000 at Alumni Coliseum.
“I’ve waited four years for this,” Tech senior safety Nathan Kobold said. “This is the greatest opportunity in college football when you have a (nationally-ranked) team coming into your house. We had to seize that.”
Sophomore Pat Hansen ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns, while junior Nick Baker passed for 205 yards and a pair of TD passes — one each to Kevin Moss and Zach Kinney — in the victory that was the first over Carroll College since Oct. 9, 2004.
“It’s huge,” Hansen said. “It’s huge for the team, huge for the community. We’re glad we could get it.”
The game couldn’t have started out much worse for the Orediggers, either.
A week after turning the ball over five times in a 26-23 loss to Eastern Oregon, Baker threw an interception on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
Michael Siegersma jumped a pass to the sideline for an interception that gave the Saints the ball at Tech’s 29 yard line just six seconds into the game.
Tech’s defense — perhaps in the defining moment of the game — held the Saints to a 28-yard field goal by Scott Lyons.
“The defense played great,” Baker said. “They held us in it all the way through the third quarter. Our defensive line played the best it’s played in long time.”
Tech took its first lead of the game, which was filled hard hits, trash talk and 140-yards in penalties, when Baker hit Moss on a short pass. The speedy Moss did the rest, racing 43 yards for a touchdown.
Chance Demarais, the focal point of the Oredigger defense who was “held” to 79 yards on 26 carries, Put the saints up 10-7 with a 1-yard run early in the second quarter.
Carroll was marching to build on the lead, moving the ball to the Tech 21-yard line. Then Mike Touzinsky scooped up a fumble and returned it to the Carroll 6.
That set up a 1-yard plunge by Hansen.
The Orediggers upped the lead to 20-10 just 3 minutes later on another 1-yard Hansen run. That one was set up by Craig Halko, who recovered a muffed punt at the 1.
The lead stayed at 20-10 at halftime, even though Jared Mayernik got behind the Oredigger secondary for a 54-yard pass from Dakota Stonehouse. Ketwaun Frank made a TD-saving tackle at the 10-yard line, and the Oredigger defense forced a field goal attempt, which was no good.
Carroll rallied to tie the game on a 3-yard Stonehouse run in the third quarter and a Lyons 27-yard field goal in the fourth.
Matt Berg gave the Orediggers the lead for good with a 28-yard field goal with 11 minutes, 25 seconds left in the game. A 50-yard pass from Baker to Trent Thomas set up that score.
Carroll drove to inside the 5-yard line and lined up for a game-tying kick with just under 8 minutes to play.
Carroll coach Mike Van Diest, though, faked the kick with holder Drew Clausen running left. It didn’t fool the Orediggers, who stopped him for a 5-yard loss.
The Orediggers responded with a 91-yard drive that was set up by and capped by nice catches by Kinney. He caught a 48-yard pass to the Carroll 25 before making a juggling catch in the back corner of the end zone to put Tech up 30-20 with 5:44 left in the game.
Kobold picked off a pass to end Carroll’s next drive at the Tech 24.
A big run by Baker on third down and several big runs by Hansen highlighted a scoring drive that put the game away. Hansen capped the drive with a 25-yard Barry Sanders-like touchdown run with 2:28 left in the game.
Touzinsky ended any comeback hopes with an interception and another long drive on the return.
“Our offense finally got rolling at the end of the game,” Tech head coach Chuck Morrell said. “Our offense made a lot of big stops. We made some big plays. That’s part of our team, we’re explosive. We can make those big plays.”
The Orediggers (1-1) play at Montana Western next Saturday night.
Carroll College 3 7 7 3 — 20
Montana Tech 7 13 0 17 — 37
CC — Scott Lyons 28 field goal, 12:13
T — Kevin Moss 43 pass from Nick Baker (Matt Berg kick), 6:35
CC — Chance Demarais 1 run (Lyons kick), 10:14
T — Pat Hansen 1 run (kick failed), 5:14
T — Hansen 1 run (Berg kick), 2:38
CC — Dakota Stonehouse 3 run (Lyons kick), 5:53
CC — Lyons 27 field goal, 12:53
T — Berg 28 field goal, 11:25
T — Zack Kinney 8 pass from Baker (Berg kick), 5:44
T — Hansen 25 run (Berg kick), 2:28
First Downs 14 21
Rushes-Yards 57-179 35-122
Passing Yards 255 205
Comp-Att-Int 17-32-1 12-26-2
Total Offense 434 327
Punt-Avg. 4-49 7-44
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-70 5-70
RUSHING — Carroll, Demarais 26-79, Dustin Rinker 9-59, Stonehouse 17-45, Jared Hunt 1-6, Sean Blomquist 1-1, Mac Roche 1-(-3), Jared Mayernik 1-(-3), Drew Clausen 1-(-5). Tech, Hansen 21-128, Taylor Rowe 3-5, Baker 10-(-11), Team 1-0.
PASSING — Carroll, Stonehouse 15-26-2-193, Roche 2-6-0-62. Tech, Baker 12-26-2-205.
RECEIVING — Carroll, Jared Mayernik 6-105, Anthony Clarke 3-87, Hunt 5-43, Demarais 1-13, Blomquist 1-4, Dylan Simac 1-3. Tech, Trent Thomas 4-79, Kinney 3-65, Moss 2-40, Craig Halko 1-12, Hansen 1-6, Alec Bray 1-3.