Montana Tech dominates Eastern Oregon in all its facets in a 38-3 victory | Montana Tech

LA GRANDE, OR — The Montana Tech Orediggers played their 2022 season opener as they took on the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers on Saturday night at Community Stadium in La Grande, Oregon.

Jet Campbell had four touchdowns, two passing and two rushing, while the defense forced four turnovers in Montana Tech’s 38-3 season opener win over Eastern Oregon University.

Tech avenged a 26-24 loss to the Mountaineers in The Copper Game, returning to Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum in Butte on August 28, 2021.

The Orediggers and Mountaineers both came back empty in their first contest possessions.

On the Orediggers’ second offensive possession, Jet Campbell’s 28-yard pass to Kyle Torgerson on second down and eight plays to put Tech in Mountaineers territory at 43. Campbell’s 25-yard strike to Trevor Hoffman on third down and 13 games guided the Orediggers to the edge of the red zone.

Four plays later, Blake Counts burst into the end zone on a four-yard pass from Campbell. Ryan Lowry’s extra point capped a nine-play, 74-yard, 4:15 drive to put Tech up, 7-0.

The score ignited Oredigger’s defense, as Zach Trumble dropped Anthony Peterson for a one-yard loss to set the stage for a Mountaineer three-and-out.

Tech’s regular offense continued its surge of momentum in its next drive at its own 36. Campbell went 5 of 6 on the drive, connecting with Logan Kennedy on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Lowry’s extra-point try sailed through the uprights to increase Tech’s lead to 14 points with 1:52 left in the first quarter, capping a seven-play 64-yard drive that ate 2:51 off the clock.

James’ 32-yard pass to Malachi Spurrier brought the Mountaineers into Oredigger territory. Eastern Oregon dropped Tech 39 as time expired in the opening stanza, with Montana Tech holding a 14-0 lead.

On the second play of the second quarter, Jake Orvis intercepted James at the Montana Tech 35 to stop the Mountaineers’ drive.

The Orediggers drove the ball to the Eastern Oregon 25-yard line. However, Lowry’s 33-yard field try sailed wide to give the Mountaineers the ball with 9:42 left in the half.

Montana Tech stopped the Mountaineers in the second-half opener.

Brandon Morley, Gabe Zanetti and Keyshawn James-Newby made back-to-back saves to force a short punt from Ethan Cutler. The punt gave the Orediggers their first possession of the half at 48.

On the first play of practice, Campbell hit Hoffman on a 40-yard pass to the Eastern Oregon 12. Three plays later, Campbell finished the practice with a four-yard run into the end zone. Lowry’s kick with 10:42 left in the third quarter extended the Orediggers’ lead to 21.

The ensuing drive in eastern Oregon slowed on an ineligible man penalty that wiped out a 17-yard pass from James to Willie Camp.

The Orediggers took advantage of a short pitch midway through the third quarter. Tech worked the ball to the Mountaineers’ 11. However, Kaleb Winterburn was stopped by the Mountaineers defense for a loss of five yards, and Campbell’s third pass was off target for Hoffman. The Orediggers settled for a 33-yard field goal from Lowry, extending the lead to 24-0 with 5:44 left in the third quarter.

After another defensive position from Tech, the Orediggers offense got back to work at the Eastern Oregon 45. A holding penalty wiped out a 19-yard pass from Campbell to Kennedy. Tech worked the ball to the Mountaineers’ 37 and took a timeout to discuss their fourth down and their two options. Kaleb Winterburn’s attempted pass to Kyle Torgerson was blocked by Blaine Shaw to force Montana Tech to return the ball with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

Peterson’s 45-yard pass to Blake Davis guided Eastern Oregon’s offense into the red zone. However, on third down and one at Tech 9, Morley dropped Peterson for a four-yard loss, which forced the Mountaineers to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Cutler with 26 seconds left in the third quarter.

Jaden McNeil’s 39-yard kickoff return set the Orediggers’ next tally in the fourth quarter. Tech ran the ball six times before Campbell hit the rock across the goal line from two yards out. Lowry’s extra point increased Tech’s lead to 28 points with 11:37 left in the game.

Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards to give the Mountaineers good field position in midfield. However, on fourth down and one on 31, Luke Ross’ pass to Walker Camp fell incomplete for a turnover on downs with 9:06 remaining.

Naoki Harmer intercepted Carson Bohning at the Eastern Oregon 30 to give the Orediggers some short ground to work on.

After a 20-yard pass from Campbell to Hoffman, Counts finished the drive with a 10-yard run. Lowry’s point after the try was good enough to give Tech a 38-3 lead with 3:29 left in the game.

Montana Tech salted the remaining time and finished the trip to eastern Oregon with a season-opening win.

The Orediggers led the game in time of possession, 36:30-23:30, which was reflected in total games (76-46 in favor of Tech), after outscoring the Mountaineers, 445-191 . Additionally, Tech had 25 first downs against Eastern Oregon’s seven.

Campbell passed 17 of 25 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, with 32 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Blake Thelen was 5 of 8 for 47 yards.

Hoffman led the receiving corps with 122 yards on eight catches.

The Earls led the Orediggers in rushing with 97 yards on 20 carries.

Luke Ross completed 5 of 9 passes for 74 yards. James passed 4 of 11 for 34 yards and an interception, adding 45 rushing yards. Bohning was 0 of 2 with two interceptions.

Anthony Peterson led the Mountaineers with 45 receiving yards.

Trumble and Ben Windauer had six tackles apiece for the Orediggers and teamed up for a sack. Tech had four turnovers in the game.

Josh Mendoza had 11 tackles and Colby Preston had nine saves for the Mountaineers.

Next Saturday, Montana Tech will host Carroll College on Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum in Butte, while Eastern Oregon heads to Dillon to take on Montana Western.

Comments are closed.