HAVRE — Winning on the road is never easy and that makes the last two wins for the Carroll College football team even more impressive.
While it wasn't pretty or easy for the Saints on Saturday night at Blue Pony Stadium, Carroll made enough plays to beat Montana State University-Northern 27-6. It was the second straight road win for the Saints and their third consecutive win overall.
It was also the first trip back to Havre for Saints head coach Troy Purcell since the 2004 state championship game when he led the Blue Ponies to a win over Billings Central.
In a game that was changed from a 1 p.m. kickoff to 7 p.m. to accommodate a playoff game between Havre and Lewistown, both teams started slow offensively before the Saints finally broke the stalemate near the end of the first quarter when Shane Sipes ran for a 15-yard touchdown, giving Carroll a 6-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until the 9:33 mark of the second quarter when Lights quarterback Tre Long connected with Marvin Williams for a touchdown. MSU-N had its extra point blocked and that left the score tied at 6-6.
Yet, it wouldn't stay tied for long.
Devan Bridgewater hit Sipes for a 43-yard touchdown and just like that, Carroll was back in front 13-6.
A couple of minutes later, a Northern fumble had the Saints back in business and Bridgewater connected with Sipes on a 21-yard touchdown, which put Carroll in front 20-6 at the break.
In the third quarter, Carroll tried to put the Lights away, but was unable to score and missed a field goal attempt, the second of the game, keeping Northern within striking distance.
However, an interception thrown by Long, as well as a penalty, gave the Saints the ball at the Lights one-yard line. On the next play, Matthew Burgess powered his way into the end zone, making the score 27-6 late in the third.
The Lights replaced Long with previous starter Brenden Medina, but it made no difference. The Saints defense smothered the Lights offense and maintained a second-half shutout.
The 21-point win was the fifth of the season for the Saints, who are now 5-3 overall and 5-3 in the Frontier Conference with two games remaining.
Carroll will host Montana Tech next Saturday, before making the trip to Eastern Oregon on Nov. 16 to close out the regular season.
Sipes finished with the game with three total touchdowns, two receiving and one rushing. Carroll also got two touchdown passes from Bridgewater and a scoring run from Burgess.