MILES CITY — The 24th annual Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl was all Montana, as the Treasure State took care of the North Dakota All-Stars 65-0 in record-setting fashion on Saturday night at Connors Stadium.
Sidney’s Dawson McGlothlin got the scoring started with a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown, opening the floodgates for what was a dominant performance on both sides of the ball for the Montanans. Montana's point total surpassed the 55 points scored by Montana in 2004.
Montana saw strong play from its two options at quarterback. Billings Senior’s Nate Dick accounted for three touchdowns, finding Bozeman’s Lance McCutcheon and Sentinel’s Mitch Roberts for passing scores and running for another. Bozeman’s Callahan O’Reilly also found his high school teammate McCutcheon for a 23-yard touchdown and also ran for another.
“It was exciting scoring that touchdown. I turned around and saw a mob of blue and my teammates made it easy on me. Have to give all the credit to them,” McGlothlin said. “Everyone on here is a playmaker and it’s just a matter of time before something happened and it just happened to be me.”
Montana forced a total of six turnovers, three of which they turned into scores. Montana had four interceptions alone in the third quarter. Helena Capital’s Marcus Welnel took one back from 62 yards and Dillon’s Troy Andersen also took one to the house from 43 yards. Senior’s Jake Orvis and Glacier’s Tadan Gilman also had interceptions in the third quarter while Patrick O’Connell of Glacier recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
“It was a complete honor and this entire week has been so fun,” said Dick, who along with Welnel and Roberts will head to Montana. “All these guys are just freak athletes and it’s been such a privilege to be teammates with them and they just went out and performed like they have all year.
“I’m just really proud of them and how we came together as Montana and represented how we should. I’m just thankful, really.”
Welnel was named Montana’s Defensive MVP while McCutcheon was the Offensive MVP.
“It’s nice to see (Welnel) on my side and not chasing after me trying to kill me,” Dick said.
“Same,” Welnel laughed. “This is the best talent from around the state and these kids are absolutely amazing and to be on their team is a lot of fun.”
Montana improves to 18-6 in the Badlands Bowl series over North Dakota. It was the third shutout of the series, all done by Montana, which beat North Dakota 42-0 in 1999 and 33-0 in 2001.
After Orvis’ interception and the score at 51-0, the North Dakota coaches asked the committee if a running clock could be installed. Andersen then scored on a two-yard run before getting his interception return just before the third quarter ended to put the score at 65-0.
“It was awesome. We’re playing with the best kids in the state and it’s just pretty cool,” said Andersen, who along with O’Reilly, McCutcheon and Gilman, will head to Montana State next year. “Our defense was stout tonight and our offense was clicking and it was a lot of fun to see the best kids in Montana put on a pretty good show.”
Senior’s Chris Murdock, who was the head coach for the game, echoed what his players said about the game.
“The whole week was just awesome,” he said. “All week, that camp atmosphere, and this is a great group of kids that all come from really good families. As good as they were on the field tonight, their character was that good all week.”