Wohlfeil's TD catch helps highlight Rocky spring game

2014-04-13T14:00:00Z 2014-04-13T20:10:05Z Wohlfeil's TD catch helps highlight Rocky spring gameBy BILL BIGHAUS bbighaus@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Lanky wide receiver Rodd Wohlfeil emerged as one of the stars of Rocky Mountain College's spring football game on Saturday afternoon at Herb Klindt Field.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior-to-be from Worden helped highlight the late stages of the hour-long intrasquad tussle by snagging a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryce Baker in the back of the end zone.

"Baker makes the great throws and you've just got to be there to catch them," Wohlfeil said. "He makes your job easy. He puts them right on the spot."

Wohlfeil, in making grabs over the middle and on the outside, finished with a team-high five receptions for 42 yards on the cloudy, cold and windy afternoon. The controlled scrimmage, pitting offense versus defense, brought spring drills to a lively close for the Battlin' Bears.

Baker and backup quarterback Chase White both threw TD passes, Frank Brown chipped in with a short scoring run and Ryan Steska booted a 39-yard field goal for the offense.

Safety Kyle Mai also capped a strong spring by intercepting one of Baker's passes, and a quick defensive unit was in on a handful of sacks, including two by lineman Erwin Soto.

"We made it feel like a game," Wohlfeil said of the excitement his late TD generated. "It's fun getting after the defense, because it's just us during the spring.

"I mean, we all get along, but we like to get chippy with each other, so it was fun scoring that. We're all friends at the end, though."

However, the Baker-to-Wolhfeil connection did mean that the defense had to clean up the field afterward.

"So it made it feel like more like a game," said a grinning Wohlfeil, who caught nine balls for the Bears last fall.

Rocky's offense and defense were on the field for around 70 plays -- not including kickoffs and punts.

"It was nice getting out here in front of some fans," said Mai, who is from Lewiston, Idaho, and will be a junior in the fall. "Everybody was flying around. Young guys, especially. They got a little bit more reps out there. It was kind of nice to see what they did."

Baker, Rocky's all-conference QB, completed 12 of 16 passes for 106 yards. White went 8 of 15 for 67 yards.

Veteran receiver Cole Cattelan had four catches for 38 yards. The longest receptions were by Wyatt Nagy (25 yards) and Mackenzie McGrath (21 yards).

"We had our moments today," Rocky coach Brian Armstrong said. "We did some good things. Of course, it was kind of a typical spring game, with a lot of penalties and some dropped balls.

"We had some ball security issues today that we've got to get straightened up."

Newcomer Brown scored the game's first touchdown on a 2-yard run. White also hit Nagy on a 25-yard scoring pass over the middle, with Nagy slipping free from a defender in getting to the end zone.

Armstrong said he was pleased with the improvement his Bears made during the course of spring drills.

"We got a lot of guys reps," he said. "So I think some of the younger guys that we're going to depend on to play next (fall) will have a better understanding of scheme and what it's like to be in a game. That will be good.

"Obviously we've had some injuries, so it will be nice to get some O-linemen back and get them in the mix. If you're not solid upfront, it's tough to make anything work."

Rocky is planning to begin fall camp on Aug. 10. The Bears open the season at Dickinson State on Aug. 30.

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