Dawgs face ‘huge trap’ at College of Idaho

The Montana Western football team might not be in the most enviable situation Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Caldwell to take on the College of Idaho.

The Coyotes will be playing their first home football game since 1977 when the contest kicks off at 1 p.m. at Simplot Stadium. The College of Idaho re-launched its football program with a 35-34 win at Pacific University last week.

“A game like this is a huge trap,” Montana Western second-year head coach B.J. Robertson said, “though I don’t know how you overlook a team that hasn’t lost in 37 years.”

Robertson knows that his team could be potentially heading into the proverbial buzz saw.

“We’re going into a hornet’s nest,” he said. “They’re ready to go. We’re excited to help them bring football back, but we know they’re going to give us everything they’ve got.”

More than anything, Robertson is hoping to find out exactly what kind of team he has on Saturday. The Bulldogs opened the season with a convincing win over Montana Tech. Then they fell in a “money game” at Eastern Washington before dropping a double-overtime thriller at home to Rocky Mountain College last week.

Robertson called last week’s loss a roller coaster ride.

“The big thing around here is we won three early last year, then we lost six,” Robertson said. “We need to be consistent. Who are we? Are we the roller coaster team or are we going to see more consistency? This is one of those games where we’ll learn a lot about who we are.”

While the Coyotes have one game under their belts, the team is still a bit of a mystery to Western.

Freshman quarterback completed 14 of 22 passes for 195 yards in last week’s win. He also ran 14 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns.

“They run their offense through him,” Robertson said. “He can run it and he can throw it.”

Freshman receiver Wes Fitzpatrick caught eight passes for 131 yards in the win.

On the other side of the ball, Robertson expects the Coyotes to be aggressive.

“Defensively, they’re going to force the issue on you,” he said. “They’ll bring everything they’ve got.”

Of course, that is just a guess based on one game.

“They have three games on us,” Robertson said. “You’re wondering if that’s a tendency or something they did in just that game.”

Senior Tyler Hulse has been solid in every game for the Bulldogs this season. Last week he passed for 159 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 73 yards and a score.

Sam Rutherfurd added 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Beau Brekke caught five passes.

Defensive back Jay Owens paced the Bulldog defense with nine tackles last week. Taft Benson and Dakota Wainwright each added six tackles, while Garrett Buck picked off a pass and Tyrell Penner registered a sack.

The Bulldogs are back at home next week when they celebrate homecoming and Hall of Fame weekend against MSU-Northern.

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