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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Battlin’ Bears upset No. 9 ranked Dickinson State 23-21 in season opener

Braedon Cain
Editors note: This is a release from Rocky Mountain College Sports Information. DICKINSON, N.D., August 29, 2019 – The first game of Chris Stutzriem’s head coaching career counts as a 23-21 win against the No. 9 ranked team in the nation, the Dickinson State Blue Hawks. Rocky jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first half. Wyatt Brusven kicked in a 33 yard field goal nearly 12 minutes into the game for the only points of the first quarter. Nathan Dick connected with John Bass for a six yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter. Dickinson made its way into the red zone, but an incomplete pass from Hayden Gibson to Conor McCarvel ended the drive on a fourth-and-3 with just a minute and 22 seconds left in the half. The Battlin’ Bears began the third quarter with an eight play, 68 yard drive that ended with a 24 yard touchdown pass to Josh Kraft from Dick. Rocky looked poised to run away with the game, but the Blue Hawks responded in the next drive. Hayden Gibson threw a screen to Alec Lovegren who raced along the sideline for 43 yards and Dickinson’s first touchdown of the game. A 35 yard field goal from Brusven pushed the Battlin’ Bears to 20 points in the next drive. The fourth quarter saw the Blue Hawks recover with a 14 point comeback. Dickinson’s Amad Andrews Jr. punched the ball into the endzone from two yards out to bring the Blue Hawks within a touchdown of the lead. The Battlin’ Bears stalled as they went three-and-out with only two yards of offense in the next drive. The Blue Hawks took advantage of the opportunity. Gibson connected with Jaret Lee for a one yard touchdown pass to put the Blue Hawks up 21-20 with just over five minutes left in the game. The Battlin’ Bears tried to rebound, but again the Blue Hawks held them to a three-and-out. With time dwindling, the Battlin’ Bears defense held the Blue Hawks to only eight yards in the following drive to give Rocky one final chance at reclaiming the lead. It was all they needed. In two plays, Rocky quickly put together a combined 45 yards of rushing from Drew Korf and Sam Sparks. Sitting in Blue Hawks territory, Rocky’s Brusven kicked in his third and final field goal of the game from 24 yards out to give Rocky a 23-21 lead. With just 38 seconds left on the clock, any thought of a Blue Hawks comeback was put to rest after Rocky’s Jimmy Henderson intercepted Gibson. The Battlin’ Bears claimed a 23-21 victory in their season opener. Dick threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns with an additional 45 rushing yards. Drew Korf threw for 75 yards. Sparks led the team with 96 rushing yards. Kraft had five receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown. Rocky’s Ty Reynolds, Chad Nebel, and Denton Wetherell each recorded six total tackles. Nebel and Tucker Maxwell each recorded a sack. In his collegiate debut, Wyatt Brusven’s three field goals counts as only one shy of Rocky’s school record for a single game. Dickinson’s Gibson threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Andrews Jr. ran for 116 yards and one touchdown. The Battlin’ Bears will return to Montana to play their home opener against MSU-Northern on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. The game will be Rocky Mountain College’s Veteran Celebration Game. For more information regarding Rocky Mountain College athletics, visit