DICKINSON, N.D. — When Wyatt Brusven arrived in Billings for fall camp, many of his teammate did not know he was a kicker.
“I thought he was recruited as a cornerback,” said teammate Jimmy Henderson.
Brusven is a kicker, and a pretty good one.
The true freshman from Shelby showed it Thursday night, making a line-drive 24-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining to lift Rocky Mountain College over Dickinson State 23-21 Thursday night at the Biesiot Activities Center.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Brusven of kicking the game-winner in his first college football game. “It’s a feeling I wanted since I was little kid and started kicking.”
Rocky moved the ball 53 yards in two minutes to set up Brusven’s kick.
“I asked him where he wanted it and he told me anywhere. That he would make it,” said Rocky first-year coach Chris Stutzriem, who won his first game as a head coach. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was his best kick of the night.”
The No. 23-ranked Battlin’ Bears have won 9 of the last 11 meetings against the Blue Hawks, including back-to-back wins.
It was the first home loss for DSU — a run of 24 straight — since 2014. The Blue Hawks entered the game ranked No. 9 in the NAIA preseason Top 25 poll.
Quarterback Nate Dick threw touchdown passes of six and 24 yards in his first start for the Battlin’ Bears and he rushed three times for an important 32 yards to set up Brusven’s third field goal of the game.
“Nate’s a gamer,” Stutzriem said.
Dick finished with 142 yards passing, with scoring tosses to John Bass and Josh Kraft. Dick also ran for 45 yards on 9 carries.
“He does a good job of keeping plays alive,” said DSU head coach Pete Stanton of the Rocky quarterback.
The Blue Hawks rallied from a 17-0 deficit and took a 21-20 lead on quarterback Hayden Gibson’s second touchdown pass of the game.
“We were horrendous in all three phases of the game in the first half,” Stanton said. “We didn’t execute at all. But we played much better in the second half to take the lead.”
Gibson finished 17 of 33 passing for 157 yards.
“We dominated the first half and had a little lull in the second,” Stutrziem said. “We started playing not to lose. But I’m just so proud of the guys, they kept battling.”
Brusven also made field goals of 33 and 43 yards and missed on a 35-yard attempt. He also was true on both PAT tries.
“I’m fully confident with every kick,” said Brusven, who is listed as a defensive back on the roster. “I just go do what I have to do.”
Henderson sealed the win by going high for an interception on the Blue Hawks’ final play of the game.
“At first, I thought I had jumped too early,” he said. “That I was going to come down too fast but I was glad I caught it.
“This was big. To come here and beat the No. 9 team. We are all committed to each other and we were able to come out with the win.”
Sam Sparks finished with 96 yards rushing on 18 carries for the Battlin’ Bears. Amad Andrews Jr. ran 26 times for 116 yards. Alec Lovegren caught four passes for DSU, including a screen pass for a 43-yard touchdown. Tyger Frye had six catches for DSU.
Rocky hosts Montana State-Northern on Sept. 7 for its first home and Frontier Conference game. The Battlin’ Bears are the defending league champions.