Road wins are difficult no matter how you slice it.
They’re made even more challenging when a team finds itself in a double-digit deficit.
Keagan McCoy recovered a fumble and returned it 40 yards for the go-ahead touchdown as College of Idaho finished a comeback, 28-23, over Montana Tech at Bob Green Field in Butte, Montana.
“Wow is right,” College of Idaho coach Mike Moroski said in a telephone interview. “I was personally feeling horrendous (at halftime) when we opted to throw the ball and they had a pick-six. It otherwise should have been 13-7 at half. That was really a back breaker. Those things are always upsetting and can take the win out of your sails and all those cliches.”
Here’s another cliché, coach – your team found a way to win.
College of Idaho improved to 4-2 and stayed a game behind first place Rocky Mountain (5-1).
Trailing 23-14 with five minutes remaining and facing a fourth-and-17, the Yotes were aided by a pass interference call, setting up a Ryan Hobbs 6-yard touchdown pass to Nick Calzaretta to cut the margin to 23-21.
After Montana Tech converted a third-and-2 near midfield, Oredigger quarterback Jeff Campbell lost a handoff. Capital High grad McCoy, who had a scoop-and-score during the pandemic-shortened spring season, picked the ball up in stride and raced untouched to the end zone with 2:02 to go.
Yotes quarterback Ryan Hibbs, also a Capital grad, made his first start of the season. He completed 18 of 36 for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Calzaretta rushed 20 times for 64 yards and a touchdown.
“We had to go into halftime and figure out what we’re all about,” Moroski said. “Dog gone it we hung in there. The defense started playing better and we absolutely shut them down in the secondary.”
Three losses could have knocked the Yotes out of the chase for the league championship.
“It’s still so darn early in the season,” Moroski said. “Rocky is playing great football. I gotta believe it’s not over. It’s not over for the three-loss teams.”
The Yotes have a bye this week. Since the program came back in 2014, College of Idaho is 7-0 coming off byes.
“Hats off to our coaches and players who rallied,” Moroski said. “It keeps us very much in the title hunt. It was a full team win and it’s really, really satisfying. It keeps the juices flowing.”
The Yotes will be home against Montana Western on Oct. 23.
“Montana Western is the most talented team in the conference,” Moroski said. “We kind of need a bye after losing a tough one last week and kind of a roller coaster win this week.”