HAVRE -- Derek Lear's arm and Stephen Silva's legs were too much for Rocky Mountain College Saturday afternoon as Montana State Northern rolled past the Battlin' Bears 42-19 in Frontier Conference football.
Lear, a junior quarterback, threw for 231 yards and four touchdowns and Silva, a senior tailback, ran for a personal-best 217 yards and two scores as the Lights, playing in their homecoming game, led from start to finish.
Northern scored on its first three possessions to bolt ahead 21-6 in the first half, but didn't put the game away until early in the fourth quarter when Silva broke loose on a 91-yard TD run to make it a 42-19 spread.
Silva's back-breaking run came just moments after teammate Matt Reyant intercepted a Rocky pass on the Lights' 2-yard line. On their previous possession, the Bears had lost a fumble inside the Northern 10.
Rocky coughed up two fumbles and had two passes intercepted on the afternoon in losing its third consecutive game. Three of those miscues came late in the third quarter and early in the fourth with the game still in doubt.
Northern improved its league and overall record to 2-3 with its second consecutive victory. Rocky fell to 2-3 in league and 3-3 overall.
The Lights finished with 497 yards on offense, compared to 323 for the Bears.
Lear passed 33 yards to Kyle Johnston and six yards to Justin Montelius for first-quarter touchdowns. Then Silva, on a draw play, ran 53 yards for a score early in the second quarter to make it 21-6 in favor of the Lights.
Rocky bounced back, though, getting a touchdown shovel pass from Travis Bertelsen to Josh Johnson off a fake field goal attempt and another off a 5-yard run by quarterback Bryce Baker to pull within 21-19 with 5:06 left before halftime.
Northern answered with a lengthy scoring drive, which was kept alive by punter Trevor Baum's 11-yard scamper on a fake punt near midfield. It ended with Lear hooking up again with Johnston on a TD pass covering 14 yards, making it a 28-19 spread with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
Lear threw his final scoring pass at the 8:23 mark of the third quarter, a four-yard strike to Brandt Montelius to make it 35-19.
Rocky had back-to-back opportunities to cut into that deficit, but lost a fumble on a first-and-goal play from the Lights' 7 and had a Baker pass picked off on a second-and-short play from the Northern 10.
Two plays later, Silva broke off his 91-yard scoring dash.
Rocky's Baker completed 27 of 47 passes for 211 yards.
The Bears, who had gone two games without scoring a touchdown, were stopped twice in the red zone on their first two possessions on Saturday, settling for field goals of 36 and 28 yards by Nick Knell.
Knell has a league-leading nine field goals on the season.
Both Rocky and Northern will have byes next weekend.