The Montana Western football team returned to Frontier Conference action on Sunday, only to see its offense continue to sputter.
This time, however, the Bulldogs’ defense was unable to save the day.
Eastern Oregon quarterback Kai Quinn ran for 205 yards and three touchdowns but it was his 37-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter that provided the Mountaineers with the margin of victory in a 27-24 win over the Bulldogs.
The game had been pushed back one day because of air quality in the La Grande area.
Montana Western, which came into its third game of the season with just one touchdown to its credit, overcame a 3-0 deficit in the second quarter, using a touchdown catch by Nate Simkins and a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bennett Gibson to build a 14-3 lead.
The Mountaineers responded with a two-yard touchdown run by Quinn, only to have the Bulldogs tack on a 32-yard field goal by Mark Kharchenko for a 17-12 halftime lead.
Melvin Wasler added a two-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that gave Western a 24-12 lead but the Bulldogs went the final 19:52 of the contest without scoring another point.
The Bulldogs scored just one touchdown in its season-opening win over College of Idaho but the defense made several key stops in that contest. Freshman kicker Mark Kharchenko also contributed to that win with three field goals.
Quinn narrowed the gap on a six-yard touchdown run with 4:17 left in the third quarter, setting up his game-winning run in the fourth.
Bulldogs running back Hunter Thomsen finished with 24 carries for 113 yards, and Gibson threw for 233 yards but Western slipped to 1-1 in conference play and 1-2 overall.
Eastern Oregon, coming off an opening-week loss at Southern Oregon, improved to 1-1 in conference and overall.
The Bulldogs will return home on Saturday to play Southern Oregon (2-0).