Nobody on Earth thinks Montana Western has much of a shot at beating Eastern Washington in football Saturday in Cheney.
Even Western coach B.J. Robertson knows the odds against his Bulldogs beating the reigning Big Sky Conference champions are biblical in nature.
“It’s the closest thing that I’ve been associated with that’s David and Goliath,” Robertson said Thursday. “It’s one thing for us to play a Big Sky Conference team. It’s another when that team is ranked No. 1.”
That doesn’t mean the Bulldogs aren’t hitting the road looking to have some fun and maybe, just maybe, make a little noise.
“I told the guys, ‘We’ll throw everything we got at them,'” Robertson said. “We’ll give ‘er all we’ve got and see how it goes.”
Eastern Washington rolled to a 56-35 win over No. 17 Sam Houston State last Saturday on the red turf of Ross Field that has become known as “The Inferno.” That game was televised nationally on ESPN.
“During pregame last week guys we’re peeking at them on the TV,” Robertson said, referring to Western’s preparation for Montana Tech Saturday in Dillon. “These guys are definitely excited to see how they match up.”
Vernon Adams Jr. passed for 302 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Eagles to the victory Saturday. Quincy Forte rushed for 152 yards, while Jalen Moore ran for 86 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. Eight different Eagles caught a pass.
Even though it was at the NAIA level, the Bulldogs are coming off an impressive performance in their own right.
The Bulldogs were red hot from the opening kickoff in a 38-6 victory over Montana Tech.
Senior quarterback Tyler Hulse had perhaps his best game of his college career, passing for three touchdowns and running for one more.
Beau Brekke, Tyler Murray and Matt Lickfold each caught a touchdown, while bruising running back Sam Rutherford ran for a score.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were dominant. With Joe Coker’s 10 total tackles leading the way as the Bulldogs held the Orediggers to 230 yards of total offense.
Philip Selin, A.J. Wilson and Tyyrell Penner each registered seven tackles, while Jesse McLoud, Taft Benson and Reno Ward were credited with six.
McCloud also picked off two passes to garner Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Week Honors.
The performance came in front of a packed Western crowd at Vigilante Field. The Bulldogs, who were wearing black jerseys and black pants, honored their 2004 Frontier Conference championship team at halftime.
“We’re definitely excited about the outcome,” Robertson said. “They were fired up Monday when they came in to lift.”
The coach said getting ready for Saturday’s “money game” will not be hard, either.
“The good news is its pretty easy to get fired up for these games,” Robertson said. “The only way I can see it being a negative is if we had a bunch of injuries.”
Robertson said he is playing to try to win the game. He won’t treat it as a preseason or exhibition game. The coach will look for opportunities to give lots of players a chance to hit the field, however.
“It will give a guy a chance to say he lined up on the Inferno against guys he’ll see play on Sundays,” the coach said. “It’s exciting for our guys. We get our names out there a bit.”
Robertson also said Saturday’s game will be good practice for next week’s home game against Rocky Mountain College.
“A lot of teams play the no-huddle and spread in our league, so it’s a great prep for us next week against Rocky,” Robertson said.
The Western coach appears to be heading to Cheney with no worries. He pointed out that the Bulldogs will be wearing their black uniforms, while Eastern will be wearing all red.
“I asked if we can wear our red jerseys, too,” Robertson said. “They said, ‘How will we know who to throw to?’ I said, ‘We’ll throw to the small slow guys and you throw to the bigger faster guys.’ We had a good laugh about that.”
The game kicks off at 7:05 p.m. (Mountain time). 1 comment