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Rocky Mountain College Football

BILLINGS — Riley Neville knew his teammates had his back.

That’s why he took the gamble.

Neville intercepted a Drew Korf pass at the five-yard line with 14.9 seconds remaining to end Rocky Mountain College's hopes of a late comeback in Eastern Oregon’s 21-17 Frontier Conference football win over the Battlin’ Bears on Saturday at Herb Klindt Field.

Rocky (5-5, 5-4) closes out the regular season at Montana Western next Saturday.

The Battlin’ Bears, who started on their own 17-yard line, drove 77 yards and were first-and-goal on the Mountaineers’ six-yard line with less than a minute to play.

After three incomplete passes, Neville stepped in front of a pass at the five-yard line that was intended for running back Jade Olson.

“They had run that play before. It’s a quick screen to the right,” said Neville, a long 6-3, 195-pound senior playing his first season as a defensive back. “I knew I had help behind me, our safeties were there, so I jumped the route.”

Neville raced down the right sideline before being pulled down by Korf at midfield.

“I was running as hard as I could,” he said of trying make his first career interception a pick-6. “I tried to give him a stiff arm, but their quarterback did a good job of bringing me down. Credit to him for a good play.”

Rocky also scored on a pick-6, with Kendell Jefferson returning an interception 13 yards for a score in the first quarter.

The Battlin’ Bears running back by committee became singular when Mason Melby was knocked out in the first half after catching a short pass on the right sideline. He did not play again.

The Battlin’ Bears were already missing running back Sam Sparks, who did not play because of a sprained shoulder and starting center Troy Bacon because of an injury.

“Any time you’re missing a starting player, it’s big,” said Bears coach Jason Petrino.

Rocky managed just 56 yards rushing. The Battlin’ Bears came into the game averaging 217.4, which is second-best in the league.

Korf finished 26 of 49 passing for 259 yards. He found Lucas Overton for a five-yard scoring pass and was intercepted three times.

Rocky led 17-14 at halftime after Griff Amies’ 29-yard field goal.

Mountaineer quarterback Kai Quinn was 16 of 28 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He threaded a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Kelley for the winning score in the third quarter. Running back Victor Dias added 104 yards rushing, including a 62-yard score.

“It’s all about execution,” said Petrino, standing by himself on the cold turf. “They made some plays. They executed and we didn’t.”

Email Joe Kusek at or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJoe