Rocky rolls on road, Western falls at home

Rocky rolls on road, Western falls at home

Rocky Mountain College has found itself alone atop the Frontier Conference standings.

The Battlin’ Bears went on the road to beat Eastern Oregon 48-10 Saturday to improve to 7-2 in league play and 6-2 overall. Montana Western fell to 6-4 with a 17-14 home loss to the College of Idaho.

In other Frontier Conference action, Southern Oregon beat MSU-Northern 37-21, and Carroll College beat Montana Tech 35-14.

The regular season wraps up next week when Tech travels to Rocky, Northern plays at Southern Oregon, Carroll hosts Eastern Oregon and Northern battles COI.

Rocky Mountain 48, Eastern Oregon 10
LA GRANDE, Ore. — In a landslide victory of yet another ranked opponent, No. 12 Rocky stays at the top of the Frontier Conference.

This time, it came over No. 24 Eastern Oregon. (Stats)

Rocky’s Mason Melby scored the first score of the game in the first quarter on a goal line rush.

Jacob Bakken found Max Gray in the second quarter on a 40 yard pass. A pair of touchdowns from Bakken to Darneail Jenkins later and the Battlin’ Bears were 27-0 going into the half.

Out of the half, Gray caught two more touchdown passes from Bakken before the Mountaineers finally managed to score. A field goal towards the end of the third quarter put Eastern Oregon on the board, but Rocky held a 41-3 lead.

Rocky’s Josh Kraft scored the final touchdown for the Battlin’ Bears off a pass from Drew Korf in the fourth quarter.

Shortly afterwards, Eastern Oregon scored their only touchdown of the game, but the damage was done.

Jacob Bakken threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns putting him at 35 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards on the season.

Mason Melby paved the way on the ground with 81 yards and a touchdown.

On 12 receptions and 117 receiving yards, Max Gray caught three touchdowns passes in a game for the second time this season. He now has 13 touchdown receptions on the season and five games with more than a hundred yards receiving.

Darneial Jenkins caught his seventh and eighth touchdowns on the season.

A pair of Rocky’s defensive lineman, JoJo Bones and Ryder Rice, pulled in interceptions.

— Rocky Sports Information

College of Idaho 17, Montana Western 17
DILLON — Darius-James Peterson capped a game-ending five-minute drive with a fourth-and-2 conversion with 60 seconds left, as the College of Idaho ran their win streak to five with a 17-14 upset of No. 20 ranked Montana Western at Vigilante Field. (Stats)

Justin Hellyer scored on a 49-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to give the Yotes (5-5, 5-4 Frontier) the lead, with the C of I defense doing the rest — handing a fourth-straight Top-25 team a defeat.

Western (6-3, 6-3) had two chances in the fourth quarter, as Jon Jund hit Walker McKitrick three times for 45 yards on a 67-yard march to the C of I 2-yard-line. However, on a 2nd-and-goal rush, Jund was stripped by the Yotes Tristen Alesi and Jayden Dawson recovered to end the drive. After a short Coyote punt, the Bulldogs reached the C of I 25, but a Mark Kharchenko 45-yard field goal attempt clanged off the right upright.

The Coyote offense took over on their own 28-yard-line with just over five minutes remaining – and never gave up the football. A Nick Calzaretta 11-yard run and a Hellyer 12-yard scamper provided first downs, with Peterson hooking up with John Horn on a crucial 15-yard third down completion with two minutes left to move the chains. Facing a 4th-and-2 at the Western 25, Peterson broke three tackles to reach the line to gain — handing C of I their first-ever road win over the Dawgs.

Playing in a howling windstorm, Western struck first, as Jund found McKitrick on a post-corner route for a 73-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead. C of I answered with a defensive stand, stopping Western on a 4th-and-1 try late in the first quarter,  turning the good field position into a touchdown. Peterson hit Keegan Crafton on a 29-yard strike and three plays later, found Connor Richardson in the end zone on a 10-yard scoring pass to even the score.

The score remained deadlocked into the third quarter until Kai Walter blocked a Kharchenko punt, giving C of I the football on the Western 33-yard-line. Four plays later, Kyle Mitchell booted a school-record 45-yard field goal to give the Yotes their first lead.

Western regained the lead late in the period, as Jund connected with Nate Simkins on a 50-yard touchdown pass, capping an 85-yard drive, but C of I answered in a hurry — as on the fourth play of the ensuing drive, Hellyer took a sweep and found a seem — outracing the Bulldog defense to the left pylon in the end zone for a 17-14 edge.

The Coyotes finished with 176 yards rushing against the stout UMW defense, as Hellyer had a season-high 70 yards on the ground and Nick Calzaretta added 63 yards on 18 carries. Peterson finished 16-of-32 for 213 yards — connecting with eight different receivers, while adding 28 rushing yards.

Jund finished 24-of-37 for 317 yards for Western — but was intercepted in the end zone by Alesi and was sacked four times. McKitrick caught six passes for 135 yards, with Kylar Prante rushing 18 times for 93 yards in the loss.

— COI Sports Information

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