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Eric Peterson, Published April 21 2012

Quarterbacks battle it out at Dragons spring scrimmage

MOORHEAD – Both Myles Montplaisir and Ryan Toelle had shining moments at Alex Nemzek Field with one touchdown pass apiece.

“Each of them showed flashes of being able to help us win,” said Minnesota State Moorhead head coach Steve Laqua. “Now we just have to get more consistency out of them.”

Developing those two freshman quarterbacks is a priority for the Dragons, who had their second spring football scrimmage Saturday. The defense scored a 26-17 win using a modified scoring system.

Three of the offense’s 15 drives ended with points, with the aforementioned two touchdown passes and one field goal.

“I liked that our defense was much more physical than they were in the first scrimmage, which was very good to see,” Laqua said. “I feel like the defense had a pretty good day. … That’s why they won the scrimmage in essence.”

Montplaisir is No. 1 on the depth chart with one spring practice remaining.

Toelle is the No. 2 QB, but Laqua has stressed throughout spring practice that both players need to be game ready come next fall, being they are the only two QBs on the roster.

The Dragons are set to add two true freshman quarterbacks in the fall.

“I think we all get better as a team,” said Toelle, who threw a 17-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brock Wieber on the fourth possession of the scrimmage. “The offense had some highs and lows, but the whole team got better today.”

The Dragons ran 91 plays from scrimmage Saturday, with Montplaisir taking 53 of those snaps.

Montplaisir had his best series in the latter part of the scrimmage, using four plays to cover 70 yards.

Montplaisir had a 40-yard completion to tight end Wade Youngblom followed by a 27-yard completion to wide receiver Preston Prince, moving the ball to the 3-yard line. After a short run play, Montplaisir tossed a two-yard TD to wide receiver Jalen Ham to cap the scoring drive. Ham made a nice catch in the corner of the end zone off a fade pattern.

“That drive is exactly how we want it to get every time. Obviously, that is not going to happen every time,” Montplaisir said. “Now we know where the bar is. We know where we can be. Now we just need to get there more often.”

Laqua said each QB has flashed different strengths. Toelle has shown the better arm in the passing game, while Montplaisir has exhibited the better knack for reading run plays in the MSUM option game.

“We’ve been learning from each other,” Montplaisir said of Toelle. “I help him out and he helps me on my pass game, because he likes doing that stuff more. It’s been good having the competition and getting better.”

Dragons sophomore running back Chris Kroeten had a 40-yard run early in the scrimmage, but was injured on the Toelle-to-Wieber touchdown play.

Laqua confirmed after the scrimmage that Kroeten injured his knee on that play.

“He’s maybe the most explosive of the running backs that we have,” said Laqua.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com