Try 1 month for $5
Rocky's Jacob Bakken runs the ball

Quarterback Jacob Bakken, shown here carrying the ball against Montana Western this past fall, was 7 of 13 passing for 88 yards in Rocky's scrimmage Saturday.

Jason Petrino was just as busy after the scrimmage as he was during.

There were players to pat on the back, recruits to visit and fans to share observations.

He had plenty to be happy about.

Running backs Sam Sparks, Mason Melby and Sam Jamal each rushed for touchdowns and quarterbacks Jacob Bakken and Gage Seekins threw for scores in Rocky Mountain College's first scrimmage of spring football.

Kicker Griff Aimes had field goals of 38, 39 and 32 yards.

The Battlin’ Bears have four more practices and will conclude spring drills with a night game Friday, April 21, at Herb Klindt Stadium.

“Everybody walked off the field,” Petrino said of his first concern on a perfect mid-day Saturday. “We’ve been hit by injuries at a few positions so we had to be cautious in some places.

“And the weather was great.”

Rocky ran 66 plays in 11-on-11 situations.

Jacob Bakken, looking to succeed two-year starter Chase White, took most of the snaps at quarterback. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound redshirt junior-to-be from Wibaux finished 7 of 13 passing for 88 yards. He found a wide-open Shonola Prince for an easy 55-yard score on the second offensive possession of the scrimmage.

“I could have played better,” Bakken said. “Just a few things here and there. I’m learning to make better decisions.”

Bakken was at quarterback for the first three scoring drives.

“Right now, he’s definitely leading the charge,” Petrino said. “There are some things that Chase did that Jacob doesn’t and some things that Jacob does that Chase didn’t. I don’t think Jacob had an interception today. He’s making really good decisions.”

Seekins and Brady Pickering also took snaps at quarterback. Pickering completed three passes and Seekins two.

Sparks, who was at Billings Senior a year ago, led a bevy of Battlin’ Bears running backs with 56 yards on six carries. He broke off a 25-yard touchdown run to the left on the first possession and averaged more than 12 yards a carry on his first four attempts.

“Sam did what he’s been doing,” Petrino said. “We have a lot of depth there. But again, I thought we had a lot of depth last year and everybody got hurt. The difference is everybody is healthy.”

Mason Melby added a 13-yard touchdown run and Sam Jamal added a 9-yard scoring run.

“Our running game was big today,” Bakken said. “We have four guys who can run the ball well. It takes the pressure off of us (the quarterbacks) and loosens up the defense when you’re able to punch the ball like that.”

Eight running backs carried the ball.

On the play of the day, Seekins scrambled to his right to buy time and found tight end Brandon Mosley for a 48-yard touchdown pass.

“I wanted to put them in game situations,” Petrino said. “I wanted to see how they would react.”

Troy Wallace had a fumble recovery and quarterback sack for the defense. The Battlin’ Bears had six quarterback sacks, including two by Jake Tuivaiave. Dayton Cogdill had two of his team’s four pass breakups. Achilles Savall and Keenan Fagan had the others.

“I thought we came together today,” Bakken said. “There was high energy on the sideline.

“We’ll watch video of this on Monday and clean it up on Tuesday and Thursday in practice.”

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

High School Sports, Rodeo Reporter

Sports writer for The Billings Gazette.