(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN — Jared White rushed for 41 yards and Tommy Mellott threw for 88 as Montana State’s Blue team beat the White 17-7 in the team’s Sonny Holland Classic Spring Scrimmage on Saturday in Bozeman.
On a day with several offensive regulars out of action, the two defenses controlled much of the action. In 99 scrimmage plays the teams combined to rush 201 yards on 53 carries, just under 4.0 yards an attempt, while throwing 43 passes for 224 yards. Blake Stillwell returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown, while Aidan Parks picked off another pass.
“Not a lot of fireworks necessarily offensively,” Vigen said. “When you have (quarterback) Tommy Mellott in a gold jersey (signifying no contact) there’s only so much he can do run-wise, and skill (position)-wise, tight end-wise, receiver-wise, we were down numbers today. A lot of guys who will make plays in the fall weren’t out there, but I was generally pleased with the way it looked.”
The Bobcats wrapped up spring drills in front of more than 2,000 fans on a warm afternoon. Vigen said the environment offered a unique opportunity between the end of the 2022 season and next fall’s Gold Rush game.
“Playing in front of the fans, playing when the time is on the clock and the score is being kept, is something you don’t get a piece of the rest of spring ball or fall camp,” he said. “The next time we’ll be out here is September 2, so I thank the fans for showing up.”
The Blue defense earned a stop on the day’s first drive, when Jordan Reed’s fourth-and-10 pass to Jared White ended with a gain of six. On the ensuing drive Mellott marched the Blue offense 64 yards for a touchdown, capped by a short Elijah Elliott run. In the second quarter the Blue defense took control of the game. On the White’s second drive of the period nickel back Aidan Parks picked off a pass, then the next time the Blue defense was on the field Blake Stillwell returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Blue lead.
MSU’s offensive line is expected to be a team strength next fall, and it showed that way on Saturday. Even with some mixing and matching – guard JT Reed and Cole Sain both played some center, and tackle Rush Reimer saw action at guard – the offensive line played well.
“You look at the big picture,” Vigen said, “offensive line was a position where we are deep. We have seven guys that have played in games, so that should have been a strength of the offense today. Contrary, the defensive line interior we are down there, so that should have been an advantage for the Blue team.”
The White offense got on the board midway through the third quarter. Taking over near midfield, Chance Wilson drive his team 53 yards for a touchdown, capped by his nine-yard scoring pass to Garrett Coon. The day’s scoring ended on a 25-yard Myles Sansted field goal in the fourth quarter.
Vigen was pleased with the day’s net result. “What you want is a relatively clean game, you want to walk away and feel like it looked like football. A lot of guys got the opportunity to show what they could do.”
RUSHING: Jared White 9-41-0, Marqui Johnson 5-40-0, Chance Wilson 10-39-0, Garrett Coon 5-26-0, Tommy Mellott 9-19-0, Elijah Elliott 7-17-1, Luke Abshire 6-17-0, Jordan Reed 2-2-0. Total 53-201-1.
PASSING: Tommy Mellott 10-16-0, 88, 0; Jordan Reed 6-11-2, 57, 0; Luke Abshire 4-9-0, 47, 0; Chance Wilson 4-7-0 32, 1. Total 24-43-2, 224, 1.
RECEIVING: Christian Anaya 5-72-0, Lonyatta Alexander Jr. 5-22-0, Garrett Walchli 3-26-0, Zachary Dodson-Green 2-20-0, Noah Smith 2-24-0, Garrett Coon 2-13-1, Elijah Elliott 2-13-0, Jared White 1-6-0, Tayvian Williams 1-14-0, Marqui Johnson 1-14-0. Total 24-224-1.
DEFENSE (U-A, Other): Miles Jackson 6-4, 1 TL; Blake Schmidt 3-1, 1 TL; Jace Fitzgerald 0-1; Tyson Pottenger 1-0, 1 PB; Jackson Harmon 2-0; Logan Frederikson 3-0, 1 TL, 1 S, 1 QBH; Zac Crews 3-1, 1 S; Jake Vigen 1-0; Aidan Parks 1-1; Miles Jackson 6-4 1 TL; Simeon Woodard 1-0; McCade O’Reilly 3-0; Danny Uluilakepa 2-0, 1 PB; Ryan Ortt 1-1; Ryan Kahe 2-0; Zac Waible 1-1; Caden Dowler 1-2; Kendric Bailey 3-0; Jackson Harmon 2-0; Cole Bullock 3-1; Dru Polidore 0-1; Blake Stillwell 1-0, 1 Int (TD); Hunter Parsons 1-0; Ben Seymour 3-0, 1 TL; Brock Steel 3-0; Nick Korom 1-2; Kenneth Eiden IV 2-0, 1 PB; Brody Greebe 1-3; Blake Hehl 0-1.
KICKING: Casey Kautzman 1-1 PAT, 4 punts for 34.3 average; Myles Sansted 1-1 FG (25 yards), 2-2 PAT.