HELENA — The Carroll College football team finished in the middle of the pack when it came to a rushing offense.

It finished fourth among Frontier Conference teams, averaging 149.1 yards per game.

So Saints coach Troy Purcell and his staff went out and found some help.

Senior running back Matthew Burgess, from Sheldon High in Eugene, Oregon, announced on Twitter that he officially committed to Carroll.

“Carroll just felt like home,” Burgess said. “I know I’ll get a great education and it has a tradition of a really good football program. The coaches are super energetic and I just felt like it was the right place for me.”

Last season Burgess helped Sheldon to 11 wins and a trip to the OSAA 6A state championship game.

Individually, he finished with 1,677 yards on the ground and 25 rushing touchdowns.

Burgess’ team fell to Lake Oswego in the championship game, 34-27, but learned he can’t anything for granted.

“After that I realized that I was officially done with high school football and I was never going to play another game with Sheldon,” Burgess said.

The Junction City native, who was born in Eugene, chose Carroll over NCAA Division II South Dakota School of Mines and Division III Linfield University, and will join running backs Major Ali, Ryan Arntson and Griphen Le in the backfield.

“I’m just excited to come in and compete, and do the best I can do,” Burgess said.

Carroll coaches said they will not comment on their signings until after the NCAA's version National Signing Day on Feb. 6.

Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Email him at ryan.kuhn@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn

Carroll College sports reporter

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