Rocky wraps up spring drills in the rain

2013-04-19T21:15:00Z 2013-04-20T20:01:08Z Rocky wraps up spring drills in the rainBy BILL BIGHAUS bbighaus@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

It rained on Rocky Mountain College's Green & White scrimmage Friday night on Wendy's Field at Daylis Stadium, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm or the physicality of the Battlin' Bears' final spring workout.

Quarterback Bryce Baker threw a couple of touchdown passes and safety Trey Robinson ended the night with a speedy dash to the end zone on long pick-6 as the Bears ran off around 70 plays before seeking cover from the rain.

"I thought the kids did a pretty good job," Rocky coach Brian Armstrong said. "Our defense continues to tackle well. I thought we were able to make some big plays on offense. We ran the ball pretty well at times."

With a crowd of around 300 looking on, Baker connected with Cole Cattelan and MacKenzie McGrath on short scoring passes. Backup quarterback Chase White added a 29-yard TD strike to Jonathan Aiken, and Taylor Hart also scored on a short run.

"This was fun," Baker said. "I know I'm not live, so it's a little different than a real game. But still, I mean, anytime we come out here against the defense it's always fun. It's a nice transition from sitting in the weight room."

Baker, a two-year starter, threw for 126 yards and White 120. Thirteen different receivers caught passes.

"It was good to see them both be able to move the ball down the field and do some good things," Armstrong said of his quarterbacks.

"I'm just trying to be more consistent," said Baker, who was 10 for 15 passing on the night. "I'm still working on the basics, just my feet and my reads. I feel a lot more confident as I'm getting older.

"I'm also trying to be a better leader and help Chase. He's got a lot of potential."

Cattelan caught four passes for 61 yards, and also ran 22 yards on a reverse. Baker hooked up with Rodd Wohlfeil on a well-executed 36-yard pass play down the middle of the field.

Jorden Payne, a former wide receiver, also displayed some nice footwork in rushing for nearly 40 yards.

Aiken, a newcomer from Florida, accounted for a second touchdown when he scooped up a fumble by Payne and raced nearly 45 yards into the end zone. Robinson, a redshirt freshman from Kent, Wash., picked off White near midfield and returned it for the night's final score.

"Three months of hard work and it pays off," he said with a smile afterward.

The controlled scrimmage pitted offense vs. defense, but no score was kept. The teams battled through three 12-minute quarters, with a running clock, before the rain curtailed play.

The defense, once again, kept the pressure on Baker and White in chalking up a handful of sacks. Defensive lineman Wyatt Johnson was responsible for a couple of them.

Veteran defensive lineman Jake Scharbrough was in on several tackles, while freshman Landon Willyerd made a solid play in breaking up a long pass.

Lineman Elu Lavea also stopped Payne with a huge hit during the second quarter.

"We've got some work to do, but overall it was a good spring," Armstrong said.

"I think this summer is going to be really important," Baker said. "Hopefully a lot of guys stick around and work in the weight room."

Rocky's players will report for fall practice on Aug. 8. The Bears will play their season opener on Aug. 23 in Miles City against North Dakota's Jamestown College.

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