Dawgs eye No. 8 Saints

DILLON — The University of Montana Western football plays conference rival Carroll College on Saturday.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. in Helena.

The Carroll College Saints have been a football powerhouse over the last few years. The team has won 11 straight Frontier Conference Championships (2000–2011). They have made 10 national final appearances, including six straight (2000–2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), and six NAIA National Football Championships in ten years (2002–2005, 2007, 2010). Last year the Saints ended the year with a 9-1 conference record, and 13-2 overall record. Their only losses that year coming from Eastern Oregon University and a loss in the national championship game to Saint Xavier University 20-24.

This will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Saints this year. The Bulldogs took the last weekend off to give them plenty of time to prepare for the Saints. Head coach Ryan Nourse was glad to get that time off to prepare for Carroll.

“This bye week was great for us,” Nourse said. “We got to work on our skill base with the offense and the defense. We got the opportunity to heal some of our kids up, and the young guys were able to get some more work in as well.”

When asked how Nourse and the Bulldogs planned to slow down the Saints, Nourse said the team will work to exploit the Bulldogs’ strengths and the Saints’ weaknesses.

“We will approach this game the same way we approach all our games,” Nourse explained. “We will look at which of our strengths will beat their weaknesses. Carroll has a very active defense. Our focus is going to have to be our tempo. We also will have the opportunity three or four times in this game to make big plays. When we get those chances, we will have to execute and take advantage of the opportunity. We will have to have a great game tackling as all of their running backs are very good, and their quarterback runs the ball very well too.”

Nourse is looking towards a few players to continue to make great plays, as they have been all year.

“Dylan Kramer has been playing well for us all year, and we also will get Tyrell Braun back this weekend so it will be nice to have those two running backs back playing together,” Nourse added. “Rashad Peniston has really come on this year, so we will continue to look to him to make big catches and plays. Defensively, Kasey Griffith and AJ Wilson have been great for us, and Jesse McCloud has been producing for us week to week.”

— Montana Western Sports Information