Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but Eastern Oregon University football has become one of the best entertainment bargains in town. Coach Tim Camp’s Mountaineers enter Saturday’s homecoming game with Western Montana with a 5-2 record and ranked No. 19 in the country. EOU is only one win away from doing something it has done only eight times in 80 years — win six games in one year.
Yet despite all the excitement surrounding the team, tickets are only $6 for general admission. That compares favorably with the $50 you might pay to go see the University of Oregon or Oregon State. And you’ll be sitting a lot closer to the action, probably. Besides, you don’t have to drive all the way across the state, and walk a mile or two from where you park, to see exciting football at La Grande’s Community Stadium.
If you haven’t been keeping up with Mountaineer fortunes, this year’s team is an entertaining bunch. They rank No. 3 in the nation in pass offense per game and No. 10 in total scoring offense per game.
Eastern quarterback Chris Ware is something to behold. He has already broken the school record for total offensive yards in a season. The sophomore passed Greg Stevens’ 18-year-old record of 2,447 yards, and with 132 yards of passing Saturday, Ware would break Stevens’ passing yards in a season record, too.
The two teams battling it out this Saturday afternoon have a history of exciting games. Last October, EOU beat Western 41-38 in overtime when Ware connected with Gavin Watson on a last second score that Camp calls “the greatest play in EOU football history.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Community Stadium. But college football is just a small part of homecoming and Oktoberfest excitement coming this weekend. The fun includes a homecoming parade beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday down Adams Avenue. Other highlights include the annual Mountaineer Booster Club Scholarship Golf Scramble, an alumni honors ceremony, an athletic hall of fame induction, an alumni association reunion breakfast, Oktoberest boosts, a children’s activity area, athletic events and more.
Whether you’re a long-time blue and gold believer, a graduate back in town or a curious local resident, you should check out the product coach Camp is putting on the field and help EOU celebrate homecoming in a big way. You’ll be glad you did.