BOZEMAN — There were a few tears and a lot of hugs at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday for senior day, but it was actually a freshman who stole the show and led the Bobcats to a 20-13 victory over Idaho.
“Oh yeah! Touchdown Tommy right there," said senior linebacker Troy Andersen after the game. "He’s a stud. Butte America right there, man."
It may have been a day for the seniors, but freshman quarterback Tommy Mellott came in and ran the ball 13 times for 68 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The last one, would be the game winner.
“I can’t say enough about I guess the spark that he gave us throughout the game," said head coach Brent Vigen. "Scoring all three of our touchdowns, I think it goes without saying that he had a major major impact on the result tonight.”
On senior day, Mellott highlighted two key senior cogs on the offensive line in Taylor Tuisasosopo and Lewis Kidd that have helped him out in a big way.
“They believed in me and they gave me a lot of support while I’m out there which means the world," Mellott said. "Obviously, you look down there and think there’s a lot of pressure but those guys, they got my back and they have the experience, they know what to say, they know how to get you ready, those guys have been great.”
And the team wouldn’t be where they are at 9-1 without the leadership and guidance of the senior class.
“I think it's a group that’s all in, but those guys that are playing meaningful snaps, I truly believe are having the best years of their career and that’s what’s allowed us to get to this point,” said Vigen.
In his last regular season game, defensive end Daniel Hardy had two sacks on the day, but he couldn’t speak highly enough of the 19 players departing the program after this season.
“They’ve helped build everything that we have here," he said. "I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be a part of such a dedicated group. The leadership that we have from those guys is insane as well.”
The same goes for Troy Andersen. The linebacker will go down as a Bobcats legend and likely in the school Hall of Fame. His last regular season game he shined making 17 tackles.
“They're my best friends," Andersen said. "They’re people I”m going to call for the rest of my life and be able to rely on and depend on, let alone on a football field today. It just means a lot.”
If you ask any Bobcats player freshman to senior, they’re just doing their part to help the team win.
“We just fought through," Mellott said after the win. "Everyone was just doing their 1/11th and at the end of the day I just try to do my 1/11th and the couple times they all added up.”