The Diggs look to turn out the Lights for Homecoming
Northern is off to a rough start.
Anyone that’s been around the Frontier Conference knew it was going to be an uphill climb for coach Souers in his first year at MSU Northern. Jerome Souers, the all-time winningest coach in Big Sky Conference history was only hired this past January, he rolled into Havre not even knowing what kind of roster he had coming back from the Fall. Once he arrived in town, he has worked his tail off trying to get the Lights running in Havre.
Coming into this weekend the Lights are 0-4, with losses to College of Idaho, Southern Oregon, Western, and last week, Rocky. Northern comes in averaging 115 yards per game, and truly just trying to find something that will work. They have had 3 different guys take snaps at quarterback, Brenden Medina taking the bulk of the snaps thus far. Medina was the quarterback for the lights in the ‘SnowBowl in September’ (see picture) but as of last year was listed as a tight end. The Lights leading rusher is Mason Dionne, a freshman, who has rushed for 75 yards in 4 games this season.
This will be the 61 meeting between the Diggs and Lights. The first game was in 1957, and from then until 1971 the Lights won 14 of 21 games. Before the 1972 season was to start Northern shut down the football program.
The lights would stay off until 1999.
In 1999 the Light football program came back to life, and their first opponent? You guessed it, Montana Tech. The Diggs won that game in August of 1999 and have since won 27 of 38 games played since then.
Montana Tech has won the last 10 meetings, included in that stretch are the 93-19 win on Homecoming for the Diggs in 2017, and the Northern Homecoming 3 years ago in that incredible snowstorm.
Montana Tech is 3-1 on the year, and they jumped back into the NAIA poll at #21 with a huge win a week ago. The Diggs currently are tied for second place in the Frontier. Full standings below.
The Diggs roll into Homecoming coming off of their first win in Dillon in a decade. The big surprise from that game in Dillon was Blake Thelen getting his first start as an Oredigger. The Great Falls product took advantage of the opportunity, making 20 completions on 35 attempts, for 247 yards and 3 big touchdowns against a tremendous Bulldog defense. Montana Tech’s offense is averaging 402 yards a game, 240 a game through the air, 160 on the ground.
The ground game for the Diggs keeps getting stronger, Blake Counts ran for 120 yards last week (just shy of his all-time high of 125 in the ‘SnowBowl in September’ AGAIN -It all keeps circling back to that game) Counts now stands at 380 yards on the season, averaging 95 yards a game on the ground. Kaleb Winterburn also has 118 yards rushing so far this year, and has run the ball strong.
Lets talk strong. Take a peek at Trevor Hoffman at receiver. To start this season, he had a huge bullseye painted on him, Mark Estes goes out to injury, and that bullseye only gets bigger, and yet Hoffman continues to shine. He has 26 catches for 358 yards, averaging 90 yards a game and 1 score, so far.. Kyle Torgerson continues his strong start to the season with 18 catches for 242 yards, and watch out for Logan Kennedy at tight end, runs good routes, great hands he has 8 catches in 4 games.
And we will close with the Digger D. The Montana Tech defense has been outstanding this year. Allowing 115 yards a game on the ground, and a league-leading 152 yards a game through the air. They have also forced 7 turnovers so far (making the Diggs +2 in Turnover margin). Expect the Digger D to have a big day on Saturday.
College of Idaho 4-0
Montana tech 3-1
Southern Oregon 1-3
Eastern Oregon 0-4
Other Games this weekend:
College of Idaho @ Carroll
Southern Oregon @ Eastern Oregon
Rocky @ Western