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'Our guys believed': Montana Tech stuns No. 13 Rocky Mountain College

Posted at 8:27 AM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 09:47:58-04

BUTTE — The Orediggers delivered a signature win on Saturday.

Jet Campbell threw for 316 yards and scored on a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns, and Montana Tech's defense made some critical stops late in the game to shock No. 13 Rocky Mountain College 21-17 at Bob Green Field.

The win gives Tech (4-4, 4-4) the season sweep over the Battlin Bears, which fell to 6-2. Both of Rocky's losses this season have come against the Orediggers.

Rocky, still atop the Frontier Conference standings, now has a one-game lead over College of Idaho (5-2).

"A couple of weeks ago we could have easily put it in the tank," said Tech head coach Kyle Samson, referring to the Orediggers disheartening loss to College of Idaho on Oct. 16. "But our guys never flinched. And that's what I'm so proud of. The last two weeks, we fought through some adversity.

"We've got a bunch of guys that truly care about each other, and that showed in the fourth quarter."

With the victory, Tech improved to .500 and pulled off back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Campbell scored on a 1-yard run with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Riley Garrett drilled a 49-yard field goal to cut Tech's lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter.

Mark Estes then tacked on a 13-yard scoring run and Campbell added a 9-yard rushing touchdown to put Tech up 21-3 at the break.

But as was the case the last time these teams met, Rocky mounted a spirited comeback attempt in the second half.

Victor Ngalamulume scored on a 1-yard run to cap a 6-play Rocky Mountain College drive with 10:05 remaining in the third quarter to trim Tech's lead to 21-10. With 1:37 left in the quarter, Nathan Dick scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper to narrow the deficit to 21-17.

Tech's defense took over from there, stopping the Bears on fourth down on their final two possessions.

"So proud of our defense and defensive staff," Samson said. "Our guys believed."

Tech's defense limited Dick to 182 passing yards and 85 yards on the ground.

Tech wide receiver Logan Kennedy led the Orediggers with 105 receiving yards. Rocky's Lucas Overton led all receivers with 118 yards.

Tech travels to Dillon for a rematch against Montana Western next Saturday. The Bulldogs, coming off a 63-7 shelling of MSU-Northern, beat the Orediggers in Butte 45-21 in Week 5.

The Battlin' Bears, still in position to win the conference, will host the Northern Lights. Rocky outlasted Northern 31-28 in a Week 4 game in Havre.