BUTTE – Montana Tech’s offense being extraordinary isn’t exactly a new thing.
Still, it was rather strange to see the scoreboard read 93-19 as the clocked ticked to zero in the fourth quarter of the ‘Diggers school record win over MSU-Northern.
“Our guys were ready and they had an edge all week long,” Montana Tech head coach Chuck Morrell said. “We’re in playoff mode right now, we’ve been that way for a couple weeks, and our guys know that every snap matters right now.”
The win broke the scoring record Tech set when it beat the Lights 70-27 in Havre earlier this year. The Orediggers also broke a school record for total offense on Saturday, piling up 932 yards.
Jed Fike was tremendous and had 12 carries for 247 yards in just two quarters of work. Four of those carries went for touchdowns and he also caught a pass for 34 yards.
Three of Fike’s last four carries went for touchdowns – with the other being a 48 yard run.
“It was just clicking, man,” Fike said. “Our lineman made the holes and I hit them and found the seam. It was just clicking all day in the pass game and the run game.”
Quarterback Quinn McQueary had 295 yards passing and went 16 for 25 with three of those completions going for touchdowns.
Fike got the Orediggers on the board first with a 37-yard scamper on their first offensive possession. McQueary got the next two – a 12-yard strike to wide out Sean Sullivan and a 45-yard pass to tight end Tanner Osborne. It was a career day for Osborne, a redshirt freshman, who came into the game with five catches for 73 yards and no scores on the year.
He doubled his season output in one game, hauling in four passes for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While Osborne has had quite a bit of playing time this year in a mostly blocking role, Morrell was happy to get all his younger players involved. The Orediggers pulled most of their starters by the end of the second quarter and they got plenty of valuable experience.
“I was just really proud of a lot of our young guys, our redshirt freshman that got to play in the second half came out and executed,” Morrell said. “I’m happy for them, they put in just as much time as the starters do.”
No matter who was in the game, Northern simply did not have any answers for Tech. The Orediggers rushed for 519 yards and even second and third stringers were able to pick up chunk yardage.
Defensively, it was something of a revenge game for the ‘Digger defense. After giving up well over 500 yards in its early season win against Northern, there was plenty of motivation.
“Monday when we came into our meetings, coach laid it all out, all the yards we’d given up,” said linebacker Brock Polley, who finished with six tackles and a half-sack. “I feel like we’re really starting to click, we got a couple guys back in the linebacker crew and along the defensive line and our defensive backs are balling, we just need to keep rolling.”
The Tech defense held the Lights to just 66 yards in the first half and racked up four sacks for the day.
Northern used three different quarterbacks who combined to throw for 193 yards on 18 for 40 passing. Junior Tommy Wilson started the game for the Lights before being pulled for Bryce Missey late in the first quarter.
"All those guys kinda did what we thought, but they weren't able to get anything done early," Northern head coach Aaron Christensen said. "We were trying to change things up and get a play, but it just wasn't happening."
Dylan Cook, a former Butte High prep, was able to get in the game late for the Lights and completed all five of his passes for 61 yards. He threw a touchdown and also had 55 yards on seven carries.
It was yet another demoralizing loss for the Lights, who drop to 1-7 on the year and 0-7 in the conference.
“We got a game next week, we go back and practice, obviously we have to tackle better, just do a better job offensively and defensively,” Christensen said. “If you play like the way we played today, you’re not going to win in the Frontier Conference.”