(UMW Press Release) DILLON, Mont. - The 25th ranked Montana Western Bulldogs (7-3, 6-3) used a strong second half to defeat Montana Tech (4-5, 4-5) 35-21 Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs took the opening drive 75 yards in ten plays as Jon Jund found Trey Mounts for a five yard touchdown to open the scoring. The Orediggers responded with a eight play 77 yard drive marching right down the field to answer with a seven yard rush by Blake Counts.
Counts finished with 18 carries and 96 yards for the Orediggers.
Montana Western methodically moved the ball down the field but the drive stalled when they fumbled on the one yard line.
Midway through he second quarter Montana Tech took their first lead of the game when Jet Campbell found Ryan Lowery for an eight yard score.
Western responded with a long 12 play drive culminating in a 10 touchdown pass to Nate Simkins with under a minute left in the half.
Simkins finished with nine catches for 106 yards and two scores.
Tech started the second half with a quick score Campbell found Kyle Torgenson for a 53 yard score. Torgenson appeared to be down for a marginal gain, but the whistle never blew and he scampered down the sideline to score and give the Orediggers a 21-14 lead.
Again, Western respond with a long 14 play eight minute drive when Colten McPhee finding the endzone from seven yards out to tie game back up at 21.
The Bulldog defense the forced a Tech three-and-out and aided by a kick catching interference penalty the Bulldogs started at the Tech 33 yard line. It took the all of two plays to score, Simkins second ten yard touchdown catch, and retake the lead.
The Bulldogs sacked Campbell three straight times to force another punt, and four plays and a minute and a half later, McPhee scored for the second time and the Bulldogs open up a two score lead.
Tech then had a 19 play drive that went nowhere fast. Aided by numerous penalties and sacks Tech held onto the ball for eight and a half minutes that only netted 24 yards and ended with another sack on fourth down.
The Bulldogs rushed for 261 yards, led by Reese Neville's 101 on 15 carries, Jund rushed for 85 yards and McPhee ran for 53.
The win keeps the Bulldogs in second place in the Frontier Conference, sitting just a game behind of College of Idaho and Rocky Mountain College. The Bulldogs will have a chance to move into a tie for first place when they host No. 1y Rocky Mountain College Nov. 13 Kick-off from Vigilante Field is set for 1 p.m.