HELENA — Carroll College’s football program is preparing to take on Eastern Oregon University in their last home game of the season. When these two teams met back in September, the game was decided with a game-winning field goal from Carroll College’s Spencer Berger- who went on to win Special Teams Player of the Week- to make the score 25-23, the smallest margin of victory in the rivalry.
Though the EOU football program currently holds a 1-7 record, they prove to be an adversary within the Frontier Conference as their opponents often don’t know exactly which EOU team they’re up against. With seven quarterbacks on the roster, five which have seen playing time in the 2022 season, the Mountaineers offense leaves a big question mark when it comes to Carroll’s typical pre-game planning strategies.
“I expect a little bit more wildcat out of them, I'm not sure what quarterback we're going to see. But you know, they had a lot of success last time. Chucking it up and throwing it up deep, fade balls, and seam balls, and so on. I've just got to expect, got to practice a little bit of it all the time and just make sure we have a plan for all of it. And then coach on the run when we get to the game,” head coach Troy Purcell said.
For six-year senior defensive lineman Garrett Kocab, there’s not one player they need to worry about come Saturday’s game, the key is knowing which quarterback is in play.
“We just kind of focus on them as a team and how they're gonna work together. We will find their weak spots and strong spots, but you know, really just, you got to know what quarterback’s in there because they have some that'll run the ball a lot. But you know, really, we'll just focus on how they play as a team and what they're going to do and that's how we're going to respond,” the lineman said.
Coach Purcell says that the team will dedicate the game to their 17 seniors, as it will be their last game at Nelson Stadium.
“The younger classmen need to play for those seniors and expect a great result. Look them at the end of the day, in the eyes, and say ‘I played for you today.’ So that's the ultimate goal, and then find a way to have some success that day and say ‘I have a great memory,’” the head coach said.
But for Kocab, the thought of saying goodbye hasn’t hit him quite yet.
“It doesn't feel like my last game at Nelson, so I'm sure it'll kick in. It's gonna be sad, probably, I don't know. It's my home here,” he said.
His goals for his last go-around at Nelson is to leave it all on the field, and to leave with a win.
“Just want to go out there and play hard, play the best I can, and help my teammates come off the field with the W.”