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8 MSU-Northern Sept. 2013 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW Football: Lights picked to finish fifth in the Frontier Conference ■ From Page 5 By Jim Potter The 2013 Montana State University-Northern football coaching staff. Back row, left to right, Darold DeBolt, Kennedy Anderson, Jake Eldridge and Jorge Magana. Front row, left to right, Scott Leeds, Kyle Samson, Mark Samson, Ron LaTray and Brandon O'Brien. 2013 Lights Football Schedule Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 2 Nov. 16 vs Eastern Oregon vs Dickinson State at UM Western at Rocky Mountain at Southern Oregon vs Carroll College vs Montana Tech vs Rocky Mountain the test will come when the Lights line up against opposing Frontier Conference offenses. But one thing is certain, the MSU-N defense has been practicing against Derek Lear and an explosive Northern offense since the beginning of August, so nothing the Lights see from here on out will come as a surprise. “The big thing for this defense is just playing hard and sticking to fundamentals,” Samson said. “They’ve seen everything they’re going to face this season. They will be very well-prepared for what they’re going to see every week in this league. So what we’ve got to do is make sure we play hard every snap, play fast and physical and cut down on the mental mistakes that hurt us last season. “And to be a good defense, you have to be fortunate too,” he continued. “You have to stay relatively healthy, and you have to get some breaks. That’s another thing we have to do better this year, we have to get more turnovers. We can’t sit back and wait for them, we have to create them. That’s how your defense helps win football games for you. I really like the players we have on defense. I think they are capable of being a very good unit this season. Now, they just have to go out and do it.” Special Teams The biggest difference the Lights will have on special team’s this season is the addition of a full-time place kicker. As a sophomore, cornerback Trevor Baum handled the place-kicking duties, and while Baum did a good job for the Lights, Northern went out and recruited a full-time kicker in the spring in Jordan Rueschoff, who comes to MSU-N from Glendale Community College in Arizona. Already in fall camp, Rueschoff has shown off his powerful leg, and he looks to be very accurate, so he gives the Lights a threat they just didn’t quite have a season ago. “Jordan Reuschoff is really going to help our football team,” Northern head coach Mark Samson said. “I thought Trevor (Baum) did a good job out of necessity for us last year, but adding a full-time place kicker will be a big plus for us. I think it just gives as an added scoring dimension when we’re in field goal range.” Baum will still handle the punting duties for the Lights. A year ago, Baum did an excellent job as Northern’s punter, averaging 37 yards per punt. Baum will also back up Rueschoff, while Rueschoff will back up Baum on punts. Northern’s long snapper this season is Austin Schroeder, while Owen DeBruckyer will be the short snapper. Though MSU-N lost two great returners last season in Kyle Johnston and Stephen Silva, the Lights want to see improvement in the return game. Northern didn’t have a single score from a punt or kick return a season ago, but Havre Daily News/Daniel Horton Montana State University-Northern wide receiver Brandt Montelius, left, hauls in a pass during a 2012 Frontier Conference game against Carroll College at Blue Pony Stadium. The Lights open their season this weekend against Eastern Oregon, and also host rival Dickinson State in September. MSU-N also has three home games to finish the regular season. with all of the talent the Lights have in the return game, that trend could be turned around quickly. Senior wide receiver Orin Johnson will be the top punt returner for the Lights, while redshirt freshmen wide receivers Jake Messerly and Dylan Woodhall will also be in the rotation. Messerly, Trevor Baum, Lavorick Williams and Woodhall will all have a chance to return kickoffs this season. “Special teams is an area where we need to be really good, and right away too,” Samson said. “I think we can be. It’s a big part of being successful, and I think we have players who can do that for us this season.”

MSU-N Fall Sports Preview 2013

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