Saraceni scores five TDs, Orediggers rout Lights

HAVRE — Make it six straight for the Montana Tech football team.

This time, the Orediggers really made it look easy.

Behind a five-touchdown performance by Nolan Saraceni, the No. 8 Orediggers rolled to a 63-16 win over MSU-Northern at Blue Pony Stadium. Stats

The five scores ties a Montana Tech record shared by Saraceni and Pat Hansen. Saraceni scored five touchdowns in a win at Carroll College last season. Hansen scored five times against Southern Oregon in the first game of the Chuck Morrell era in 2011.

“The guys up front gave him some space, and he got in the open field,” Morrell said of Saraceni, who ran for 232 yards on 17 carriers. He scored on runs of 22, 4, 67, 2 and 58 yards.

The Orediggers led 56-10 at halftime.

“Our guys came out ready to go,” Morrell said. “We really felt like we played an unbelievable first half. The offense was on fire, and we got a special teams score to boot.”

Tech led 14-0 before the Lights even ran an offensive play.

Tech took the opening kickoff, and Saraceni capped the opening drive with his first TD.

Butte High graduate Clay Dean forced a fumble that went to the Orediggers on the ensuing kickoff, and the Orediggers were in business again. Quinn McQueary hit running back Zach Winfield for a touchdown.

“Our coverage units were really good today,” Morrell said. “In a heartbeat it was 14-0.”

Saraceni’s second TD made it 21-0.

Northern got on the board, and the Lights were in business after a bad snap on a Tech punt gave the Lights the ball at the Tech 25-yard line. The Oredigger defense, though, slowed the momentum by forcing a field goal.

The momentum was gone once Dion Williams made his presence known. The emerging Tech superstar hauled in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Quinn McQueary.

Moments later, Williams threw a pass on a trick play and hit fellow receiver Mitchell Keeton for a touchdown.

Tech added a touchdown when Danny Mannix returned a partially blocked punt by Tyler Sanders for a touchdown.

Saraceni scored the next three touchdowns to put the game.

Quinn McQueary was credited with 423 yards on 19 of 22 passing, though the official game statistics appear to have several mistakes.

Williams caught three passes for 111 yards.

In other Frontier Conference games, Southern Oregon fell 44-41 to the College of Idaho, Carroll College beat Rocky Mountain College 28-14 and Eastern Oregon beat Montana Western 21-13.

Tech leads the Frontier at 6-1. Eastern Oregon is second at 5-2, followed by Southern Oregon and Rocky at 4-3.

The Orediggers head to Billings to take on Rocky next week.