Rocky vs. Carroll

Rocky's Lucas Overton is surrounded by Carroll's defensive players on a kickoff return in the second quarter of Frontier Conference football action at Herb Klindt Field on Saturday. Carroll won 16-3.

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

BILLINGS — Carroll College redshirt-freshman quarterback Reese Hiibel was making his second career start on Saturday against Rocky Mountain College.

And unlike his first start, this one resulted in a win. 

Hiibel completed 9 of his 20 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Saints to a 16-3 Frontier Conference football revenge win over Rocky on another windy day at Herb Klindt Field. 

The loss avenged Carroll's 40-14 loss to the Battlin' Bears from Sept. 9.

"It was really sucky to see Tanner (Gustavsen) go down like that," Hiibel said, recalling the game against The College of Idaho when he first saw playing time. "Ever since then, the guys have really rallied around me and us as a team. They've really done a good job of helping build me up and get me prepared to be in this spot. I think as a team, as a whole, we've done really well with the situation."

Hiibel's first start came last week when the Saints were defeated by Montana Tech 23-10.

The quarterback's first touchdown pass against Rocky came to tight end Eric Dawson, a 20-yard play where Hiibel found Dawson on the right side of the field and he did the rest to put Carroll up 6-3 in the second quarter. 

Later in the quarter after a bad punt from Rocky, Carroll took over inside the red zone and Hiibel eventually found receiver Chase Fossum on a 6-yard score to put Carroll up 13-3.

"I thought they just dominated us," Rocky coach Jason Petrino said. "Their defensive line dominated our offensive line. We couldn't get any push. We couldn't run the ball. Couldn't open up any gaps. That turned into a pass rush. They just dominated us."

Hiibel weathered the elements well, but he admitted he was a little nervous coming into the game.

"It's my first road start so obviously coming into a different environment that you're not used to that's completely different," Hiibel said. "Rocky's a good team. I knew they were going to be good. Give credit to them for being a great team and everything. I think we did a good job as a team and I think we did a pretty good job at staying composed."

Both teams were limited in the passing game, as the wind once again caused throwing to be difficult. Both defenses were forced to key in on the run more, and the offensive output was still limited. Rocky ran one more offensive play than Carroll, but only finished with 192 total yards on offense while Carroll had 260. 

The biggest difference was also in the running game, as Carroll (2-5, 2-5) racked up 167 rushing yards to Rocky's 54. Carroll running back Major Ali had 26 carries for 119 of those yards.

"The last two Saturday's in Helena have been windy. We're used to this. I don't know what we're going to do when it's calm," Carroll coach Mike Van Diest said. "Our passing game was good at times. Reese overshot a few but he had a couple of good ones. We didn't turn it over ... I thought our defense did a great job today. I thought we played great today."

Like Hiibel, Rocky true freshman Drew Korf was making his second career start due to injury. Korf started last week in Rocky's 52-3 win over Montana State-Northern after previous starting quarterback Jacob Bakken was lost for the season due to injury against Southern Oregon. Korf finished the game 11 for 29 for 124 yards. Mason Melby ran the ball 12 times for 38 yards for Rocky (4-4, 4-3).

"I have all of the respect in the world for Coach Van Diest," Petrino said. "I knew he was going to come out (strong). We didn't respond and we didn't play very well, but I want to give all of the credit to Carroll. They did an outstanding job. They got after us. They kicked our butt and it's one of those things where hopefully we can learn from it and see what we can do here over the next week."

Email Kyle Hansen at kyle.hansen@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsHansen

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