After a season-opening loss to College of Idaho, the Montana Tech football team was looking for a little bit of redemption in a road game against Eastern Oregon.
The Orediggers found it, throttling the Mountaineers 35-10 in game that was never close. Montana Tech’s defense was incredible throughout the game and there was a point early in the fourth quarter where the Mountaineers had minus-61 yards rushing.
“We gave up four big plays a week ago on some really small mistakes and I think our guys were better than that and wanted show up and throw down today,” Montana Tech head coach Chuck Morrell said after the game. “They did a really good job of getting after them.”
The Orediggers forced four turnovers on the day, all coming from the defensive secondary. Jake Orvis and Teddy Croft each had interceptions, while Ike Schweikert and Justin May each had a fumble recovery.
Montana Tech had a strong showing from its defensive line, especially defensive end Logan Kolodejchuk. The sophomore finished with a game-high 10 tackles, 1.5 of which were for loss.
As a team, Tech ended with nine total tackles for loss and two sacks.
“Logan Kolodejchuk is blossoming as a football player right now,” Morrell said. “It’s exciting that some of those guys are stepping up and taking that role on in a spot where we lost a lot of key guys from a year ago.”
Jed Fike led the attack on offense, carrying the ball 29 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns. The Orediggers were efficient on that side of the ball, running 69 plays for 394 yards and had only one turnover, which was not turned into points.
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Montana Tech got on the board during their first drive as they went 68 yards in a clinical seven plays that ended with quarterback Jet Campbell finding tight end Nate Sander from five yards out.
Fike then added two first-half touchdowns, including an incredible 29-yard run that nearly saw him get stopped at the line of scrimmage before he broke free for the score.
“I thought he was back to looking like one of the top backs in the Frontier Conference again today,” Morrell said. “Last week, for the first time for real in a new system, had made a lot of mistakes and I really challenged him to step up and carry the load … he can make a lot out of nothing and it was exciting to see him rolling the way we know he can go.”
Campbell was efficient at signal caller, completing 9-of-16 passes for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His second score was an impressive 59-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Trevor Hoffman. He ended the game with a team-leading three catches for 92 yards.
Tech’s win on Saturday was its first road victory of Eastern since 2016. It was the seventh win for Chuck Morrell over EOU and he is 5-2 against the Mountaineers since 2015.
Tech is now 1-1 on the year and will host Southern Oregon next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Alumni Coliseum.
“It was a monster win,” Morrell said. “It’s very challenging to win in this league on the road. And of all places, La Grande, Eastern Oregon has been an incredibly difficult place for us to play. The guys, throughout the course of the week, treated it as a business trip and they just focused on us and brought the energy today.”