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Photo by Jon Vavek / Billings Gazette Dickinson State senior running back Presley Straub, left, watches a loose ball as Rocky Mountain senior defensive end Weston Merrill looks to scoop it up during Saturday's Frontier Conference football game at Herb Klindt Field in Billings, Mont.

Rocky Mountain limits Blue Hawks in 46-14 victory

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BILLINGS, Mont. -- Rocky Mountain College snapped its four-game losing streak in a big way on Saturday afternoon.

The Battlin' Bears scored on their first four possessions of the game en route to a rousing 46-14 Frontier Conference victory over Dickinson State University on Herb Klindt Field.

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Sophomore quarterback Bryce Baker threw for a pair of touchdowns and also ran for two more scores as Rocky won its first game since Sept. 8.

Baker finished with 212 yards passing and 56 rushing for the Bears (4-4, 3-4 Frontier).

"I was proud of our kids," Rocky coach Brian Armstrong said afterward. "I thought they did a good job of responding and weathering the storm of the last four weeks. They remained positive and kept working hard. I'm proud of their effort today. Proud of our coaches, players ... everybody."

Rocky, which won at DSU 30-19 on Sept. 1, jumped ahead 27-7 this time around. The Bears led 34-7 at halftime, outgaining the Blue Hawks 275-yards to 113 in the first half.

"It was a great performance," said Rocky wide receiver Andre McCullouch, who caught both of Baker's touchdown passes. "We've been down the last couple of weeks, but this whole week in practice it's been a whole different excitement."

Rocky put together scoring marches of 44, 86, 60 and 63 yards in quickly pulling away from the Blue Hawks, who fell to 1-6 in league and 2-6 overall.

"They did some things pretty darn well," DSU coach Hank Biesiot said of Rocky. "I thought their execution was excellent today. It's the same defensive bugaboo for us. At times we had them in long yardage and they converted third-and 8, third-and-7. We missed some chances for some sacks. You just can't do that."

Clint Linthicum scored on a 2-yard run and Baker rolled around the end for a 16-yard TD dash to make it 14-0 at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter.

A few minutes later, the Bears were back in the end zone again when Baker found the speedy McCullouch streaking down the middle of the field and delivered a perfect pass for a 56-yard scoring play and a 21-0 lead.

"Once we get going, we're hard to stop," McCullouch said. "That was just a momentum-builder. We were already rolling. That just kept everything going."

Linthicum, who finished with 99 yards rushing on 26 carries, scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run right before intermission to put the Bears in command 34-7.

Rocky opened the second half with an 18-play, 72-yard scoring drive, with Baker racing around the end for the touchdown from 2 yards out.

"I thought that quarterback (Baker) had a real good game," Biesiot said. "He's capable. He's had good games before this year. This isn't his first one. We didn't contain him like we needed to."

A safety and a 49-yard field by Nick Knell had Rocky up 46-7 early in the fourth quarter. Knell's field goal tied his longest collegiate kick.

Rocky wound up with 410 yards on offense, compared to 215 for DSU. The Bears didn't commit any turnovers, while the Blue Hawks had three.

DSU's 20-play scoring drive in the second quarter covered 75 yards and included three, fourth-down conversions. Sophomore quarterback Matt Harkless dove in from 1 yard out for the score.

Harkless and Thad Lane combined to throw for 113 yards and completed 10 of 25 passes.

"That's about our third or fourth (drive) like that," Biesiot said. "The thing is to be more consistent in doing that. I mean, it shows that we have a scrappy little quarterback that can make some plays. At times we had some good plays, but just not enough of them."

DSU added its second touchdown in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard run by Kyle Stanton, capping a 10-play, 69-yard drive.

"They try," Biesiot said of his Blue Hawks' effort. "We're missing catches and missing plays in the game. We're obviously a work in progress. We still want to do some simple things better like catch the ball and run the ball."

DSU 0 7 0 7 -- 14

RMC 21 13 9 3 -- 46

First quarter

RMC-Clint Linthicum 2 run (Nick Knell kick), 9:55

RMC-Bryce Baker 16 run (Knell kick), 4:03

RMC-Andre McCullouch 44 pass from Baker (Knell kick), 1:14

Second quarter

DSU-Matt Harkless 1 run (Chad Bryant kick), 7:33

RMC-McCullouch 8 pass from Baker (Knell kick failed), 5:30

RMC-Linthicum 1 run (Knell kick), 1:01

Third quarter

RMC-Baker 2 run (Knell kick), 7:20

RMC- Safety, punter stepped on back line of end zone before kicking ball, 2:27

Fourth quarter

RMC-Knell 49 FG, 14:46

DSU-Kyle Stanton 8 run (Bryant kick), 9:39

TEAM STATISTICS DSU RMC

First downs 15 19

Rushes-yards 47-102 45-198

Passing yards 113 212

Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-25-2 18-24-0

Total yards 215 410

Fumbles-lost 4-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 1-5 5-40

Punts-Avg. 4-39.8 5-44.8

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DSU, Harkless 15-22, Myren Moore 12-42, Presley Straub 12-35, Stanton 2-10, Zach Sandau 2-5, Thad Lane 1-(minus-9), Kyle Sanders 1-(minus-3). RMC, Linthicum 26-99, Baker 9-56, McCullouch 2-13, Cole Cattelan 1-16, Isaac McCreery 2-7, Shane Corpening 6-7.

PASSING: DSU, Harkless 6-13-1 58, Thad Lane 4-12-1 55. RMC, Baker 18-24-0 212.

RECEIVING: DSU, J.T. Keith 3-40, Wyatt Mirich 3-36, Jimmy Smith 2-12, Sandau 1-4. RMC, McCullouch 5-80, Michael Robinson 5-29, Linthicum 3-39, Zach Wohlfeil 2-35, Cattelan 2-21, Isaac McCreery 1-8.

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: DSU: Jay Grosz 7, Nolan Schwartz 6, Mike Fisher 6, Matt McCoy 6, Cord Berg 6. RMC, Jake Scharbrough 8, Austin Feddersen 6, Jacob Barit 6, Josh Johnson 5, Josh Graham 4, Brett Hilde 4.

SACKS: RMC, Scharbrough 1, Brad Eliel 1, Zach Uskoski 1.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Rocky: Weston Merrill.

INTERCEPTIONS: RMC, Josh Graham, Ryan Ferguson.

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