Dawgs decimate ‘Diggers, 38-0

Matt Lickfold, a Montana Western sophomore receiver, breaks free on a 58 yard touchdown reception thrown by senior quarterback Tyler Hulce. The score gave Western a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter of a 38-0 rout of Montana Tech Saturday night at Vigilante Field. J.P. Plutt photo

 

On a late August evening that, as luck would have it, featured early October temperatures ideal for football, the Montana Western Bulldogs opened their 2014 season at a packed Vigilante Field on Saturday with a 38-6 demolition of rival Montana Tech that had no trace of luck about it.

The Dawgs dominated the Diggers from start to finish in every aspect of a game that seemed all but over before its second quarter was half done.

Starting his second season as the Dawgs starting quarterback, Tyler Hulse led the Western offense on five efficient first-half trips into the Tech end zone during the game’s first 23 minutes.

“The game is definitely a lot slower for me this season,” said Hulse, a converted wide receiver who used just 16 total plays on those five TD drives to put Western up, 35-0, with 8:12 left in the second quarter.

The Dawgs D set up those five scoring drives, which averaged just 41 yards in distance, by disrupting the Orediggers offense and forcing punts and turnovers.

Taft Benson, AJ Wilson, Phil Selin and Reno Ward, among others, regularly arrived uninvited in the Tech backfield to harass and wrangle Tech’s QBs and RBs.

Western’s senior safety and defensive co-captain Jesse McCloud took advantage of the Diggers disarray in snaring two interceptions.

“Our defensive line and linebackers got so much pressure on the quarterback, it forced him to throw up some balls that I was able to get to,” said the two-time All-Conference selection McCloud, who returned his first pick to the Tech 21-yard line, from where Hulse hit Dawg wide receiver Beau Brekke on the next play for Western’s fifth TD.

Western’s special teams did more than their part, with Joe Coker stonewalling Tech returner Andre Cornell  at Tech’s 6-yard line on the opening kickoff to help set up Western’s first short-field scoring drive.

Western’s second short scoring drive came after Selin blocked a Tech punt that flew straight up, like a Little League pop up, before Coker settled under it around the original line of scrimmage.

 

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