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Bulldogs Secure Comeback Victory Over Southern Oregon (Full Picture Gallery)

UMW Sports Press Release

The Montana Western football team (3-1, 1-1) came out on top over the

Southern Oregon Raiders (1-2, 0-1) by a score of 24-23. The Bulldogs scored two unanswered

touchdowns in the fourth quarter and drove 94 yards to put the nail in the coffin over the Raiders with 42 seconds left on the clock.

“I am just proud of the guys for fighting to the end and pulling out a game that we should not

have won. We made so many errors in the first quarter alone. We had three first downs called

back on penalties and a touchdown,” Head Coach Ryan Nourse said. “Just all of the errors and silly things that we did, our difficulty getting off the field on third down on defense, inability to get two-point plays hurt us. It is a game we should not win but you have to learn how to win games ugly. SOU is everything we thought, they are tough, physical and fast. I am proud of our games to be able to flush a really bad half performance and put together an average one and make plays at the end to win it.”

How it Happened

The Raiders were the first to put points on the board, scoring on their first play of the game on a pass from quarterback Matt Struck to receiver Jackson Clemmer for 46 yards.

The Bulldogs struggled to find the end zone on their second drive, ending in an impressive 47-yard career-long field goal from John Mears.

Down 7-3, the Bulldog secondary proved their mettle after a pair of timely breakups from

Braden Swank and Brady Mounts forced a Southern Oregon three and out. The offense followed suit with another UMW scoring drive that was capped off by Mears’ second field goal of the game.

Southern Oregon wasted little time in the second quarter, taking a 14-6 lead with 12:58 left in the half.

The following drive saw the Bulldogs drive 65 yards in just under five minutes for their first

touchdown of the game. Palandri hit Jon Kirkley for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

The Raiders managed to run six minutes off the clock on their next possession before the

Bulldog defense forced a fourth down on the Montana Western 16-yard line. Raiders’ kicker

Brian Batres nailed a field goal of his own to boost SOU to a 17-12 lead.

The Bulldog defense held strong for the second half, allowing just one more Raider score for the remainder of the game.

Down 23-12 in the fourth quarter, Palandri connected with Eli Nourse on back-to-back drives for two Bulldog touchdowns. The first on a 28-yard pass with 9:24 left in the game. The second on a 14-play march down the field that put the Bulldogs ahead for the first time at 24-23 with 42 seconds on the clock.

The Raiders made it interesting, picking up 57 yards on five plays. Despite the excitement,

Raiders’ kicker Brian Batres missed a 49-yard field goal attempt as time expired to seal the

victory for UMW.


• For the third game this season, Nourse racked up more than 100 receiving yards in a

game. He totaled a career-high 169 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the

go-ahead score with 42 seconds left on the clock.

• Kicker John Mears nailed a career-long 47-yard field goal on his way to hitting two field

goals in the game. Mears remains perfect on the season in PATs and field goals.

• Palandri threw for 269 passing yards and completed 25 of 38 attempts.

• Braden Swank and Aiden Prado worked magic for the Bulldog secondary, combining for

six pass breakups and eight tackles.

• DJ Kirven rushed for a team high 62 yards.

• Braden Smith had a day, racking up 10 tackles on defense. Reese Artz added two tackles

for loss to his count, along with six tackles.

Up Next

The Bulldogs take the week off to prepare for a matchup with the undefeated No. 15 ranked

Montana Tech Orediggers (4-0, 2-0), who will likely move up in the rankings after they upset the No. 7 College of Idaho in today’s matchup. The Orediggers will take on Southern Oregon prior to the matchup.

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