HAVRE — The MSU-Northern Lights football team began their Frontier Conference season squaring off against the #19 College of Idaho Yotes in their first game the season on their home turf at Tilleman Field. It was the former National Champion Carroll College coach and current Light’s defensive coordinator, Mike Van Diest’s first game rocking the maroon and gold.
After a quick three-and-out and an errant punt from the Lights on the first possession, running back Nick Calzaretta broke a few tackles to give the Yotes a quick 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, quarterback Jack Rice, delivered a deep strike to Hunter Juarez for a 41-yard score putting the Yotes up 14-0.
However, first play of the second quarter, after a nice drive put together by the redshirt junior under center, Kaymen Cureton, ends in a jump ball throw from the 1-yard line to Dorian Miles who made a great one-hand snag to bring the game to within seven.
Next possession, Jack Rice drove down the field and on third-and eight in Lights territory for a touchdown threw to Bo Stevens taking advantage of broken secondary. Yotes would be in command but only until the Lights and Cureton got the ball back.
Fourth-and-four near midfield, Cureton scrambled out of the pocket to find the former Great Falls CMR receiver, Jake Horner who trickled it down to the 1-yard line. Cureton would finish off the drive with a quarterback keeper making it 21-14 in favor of the Yotes.
Despite the back and forth first half with big plays and a close game, the third quarter would be a defensive battle holding both teams scoreless.
In the fourth quarter, Yotes scored three unanswered touchdowns to run away with their first win of the year souring the home opener for the Lights winning 42-14.
Calzaretta torched the Lights defense rushing for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Penalties also scourged the Lights tallying eight for a total of 73 yards and four turnovers.
The Lights did show glimpes of solid play with the playmaking abilities of Cureton and a stingy defense that also amassed four takeaways as well. For Coach Rolin and the team, they stuck with a Top-25 team for three quarters and will have the chance to build upon it next week.
MSU-Northern’s next game is Sep. 4 against Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore. at 1 p.m.