DILLON — Montana Western came out with an edge Saturday.
The No. 24 Bulldogs dominated MSU-Northern in a 59-13 win at Vigilante Field that got Western off of a two-game skid and back in the win column thanks to a strong first half from the Bulldogs’ offense.
Sophomore quarterback Jon Jund reached the endzone a staggering seven times, tacking on 418 total yards.
Jund’s six passing touchdowns found receivers Walker McKitrick and Nate Simkins, who each brought in three scores and broke 130 yards.
Western head coach Ryan Nourse mentioned that his quarterback had taken the losses to Montana Tech and Carroll College to heart and has been driven to improve.
“He’s been very motivated since the Tech game,” Nourse said. “It was evident that he played poorly, and that’s not who he is. He’s a cool customer, and he makes big plays in big situations. He’s been locked in since Tech, and we figured if [Northern] lined up the way we expected, he would have a big game.”
While Jund was firing on offense, the defense also got back on track after a lackluster display in last weekend’s 33-29 loss.
The Bulldogs’ defense gave up just 128 yards through the air to Lights quarterback Tre Long, who found receiver Bryce Baumgardner from four yards out for the Lights' sole touchdown in the second quarter.
Sophomore Carson Hritsco and senior Jackson Thompson each brought down an interception, while freshman Kameron Rauser grabbed two of his own. Linebackers Jason Ferris and Kyle Schulte each forced a fumble, with Schulte recovering one as well.
Northern running back Jett Robertson was the main source of production for the Lights, totaling 112 yards on the ground and in the air on 19 total touches.
Northern averaged 4.2 yards a carry and earned 182 yards on the ground, a stark improvement from the 343 yards and 7.0 average that Carroll put up on Western.
With the two losses now behind them, Nourse was encouraged that his team put together an impressive display on offense and defense after a fortnight of inconsistency.
“We underperformed the last two weeks,” Nourse said. “Tech was a great team that we played good defense against, but laid an egg offensively. Carroll was a great team that we played well offensively, but the reverse performance from the defense. It’s good to put one together and execute well, it’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Western, now 5-2, will look to build off of the home win with another home matchup against Rocky Mountain College, while MSU-Northern (1-7) returns to Havre to welcome Carroll College.