BUTTE – There was a time where the Southern Oregon at Montana Tech football game would have decided the Frontier Conference race.
The ‘Diggers, however, weren’t able to hold up their end of the bargain and the Raiders have had at least a share of the title wrapped up for two weeks. They took it outright last weekend with a 38-17 win over MSU-Northern.
Fifth-ranked SOU is assured a trip to the NAIA playoffs, while Tech – who dropped to No. 22 in the NAIA national rankings – is on the outside looking in.
“It’s not surprising to see them back where they’re at,” ‘Digger head coach Chuck Morrell said. “Their skill level is very high out there and they have some very good athletes.”
One of those athletes is quarterback Tanner Trosin, who will be an absolute force to deal with. Trosin missed the 2016 season due to injury, but has come back this season to throw for 3,164 yards and 20 touchdowns while tossing just four picks.
He’s added seven touchdowns and 209 yards on the ground and his total offense per game (347.8) ranks second in the NAIA.
Simply put, he’s been brilliant.
“Coach calls the plays and I try to execute it the best I can,” Trosin said to the Ashland Daily. “Coach likes to go deep so that’s what we gotta do, I gotta complete a deep ball.”
With a plethora of talented wide receivers around him and a strong defense at his back, Southern Oregon could very well vie for its first national championship since 2014.
There’s a lot of football left to be played, but it’s certainly within reason.
Carroll women take out Boise State
The Carroll College women’s basketball team upset the reigning Mountain West Champion Boise State 62-61 in a stunning upset.
The Saints’ Hannah Dean had the go-ahead shot with 18 seconds left and finished with nine points, 12 rebounds, four steals and seven assists.
“We just hit shots,” Carroll head coach Rachelle Sayers said to 406mtsports. “We just made shots. Our kids made shots. They played with confidence. Wet took a lot of pride in doing the little things. Lifting your teammates up. These guys have bought into that.”
The Saints lead 29-28 at the half and by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter. A furious Boise State cut run into the lead, but the Broncos offense went stagnate at the end of the game.
Carroll ended on a 6-1 run.
"I thought that in the middle of the second half, we battled back and got ourselves back into the game, but then we didn't perform like we could down the last three minutes," Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell said in a release. "I thought Carroll played very well. They were into it, it was their fourth game this week, and it showed. We really struggled in transition and down the stretch with free throws and turnovers."
The Broncos went 25-8 last season and won the conference tournament to get an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament, where they fell in the first round. Carroll, meanwhile, is 2-0 on the season, with exhibition losses to Montana and Utah.
The Saints fell by just seven points to the Griz, while the game against the Utes was a bit more lopsided.
Carroll received votes in preseason the NAIA poll and will likely be ranked in the first regular season poll, which comes out Dec. 5.
Dreikosen nabs 300th win
Rocky Mountain College head men’s basketball coach Bill Dreikosen notched win No. 300 as the Battlin’ Bears topped Yellowstone Christian 92-60 on Tuesday evening.
His team improved to 4-0 in his 18th year at the helm of the program. Dreikosen won the national title during the 2008-09 season and has four Frontier Conference Tournament Championships.
His squad has made the NAIA National Tournament six times in his career.
Will Tech take volleyball title?
The Frontier Conference volleyball tournament gets started on Friday afternoon as fourth-seed University of Providence faces fifth-seed Lewis-Clark State at 2 p.m.
Second-seeded Rocky will play seventh-seeded Montana Western in the following game. The day ends with third-seed Carroll – who is also hosting the tournament – facing sixth-seeded MSU-Northern.
Top-seeded Montana Tech will get a first-round bye. The Orediggers are ranked No. 15 nationally while Rocky Mountain checks in at No. 23.
The ‘Diggers have beaten the Battlin’ Bears 3-1 both times the squads have played this season. There’s a lot at stake in the single-elimination tournament, as the winner gets an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.
Athletes of the week
College of Idaho took two football Frontier Conference Player of the Week honors this week following a 64-35 win over Montana Tech.
Running back Nick Calzaretta was named Offensive Player of the Week while kicker Kyle Mitchell was named Special Teams Player of the Week. Calzaretta rushed for 162 yards and five touchdowns on just 22 carries as the Yotes scored their most offensive points since 1961.
Mitchell hit 8-of-9 PATs and had two touchbacks.
Carroll’s Parker Bernhardt took Defensive Player of the Week. He had nine total tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception in the Saints’ 24-15 win over Montana Western.
Rocky Mountain’s Hailey Copinga and Natalie Hilderman took Attacker of the Week and Setter of the Week, respectively. The Battlin’ Bears volleyball team went 2-0 in the final week of the regular season, topping Western and Carroll.
Bulldog junior Dylan Fowler took home Defender of the Week honors.
Dom Robinson scored 39 points as Western beat Dickinson State in overtime to help him wrap up Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. He averaged 24.5 points, four rebounds and five assists in two games during the week.
Providence’s Stephanie McDonagh won the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week award after averaging 26.5 points, six boards and hitting 9 of 17 three-pointers in two games.