EASTERN LOOKS TO FINISH SEASON AT .500
The Eastern Oregon football team has a legitimate shot Saturday of ending its season with a .500 record for the first time since 1999.
The Mountaineers (4-5) end their season with a home game against Southern Oregon University Saturday.
The two teams should be closely matched. Southern, which started the season ranked No. 6 in the NAIA nationwide poll, is out of the polls now with a 4-4 record. The Raiders and Mountaineers are the only NAIA football teams in Oregon, and only have one common opponent Linfield.
Linfield beat Southern 47-42, and beat Eastern 56-14.
The Raiders have a ton of offense, averaging 33.4 points a game. Their two biggest weapons are running back Dusty McGrorty, who had gained 1,399 yards (174.9 yards a game) on 213 carries for a 6.6 per-carry average.
McGrorty has also scored 18 touchdowns. He gained 161 yards on 36 carries in Southern's 44-19 win over Eastern in Ashland last year.
A total of 14 seniors will not be making the trip for Southern because of violations of team rules. Not making the trip is Southern's top receiver, Andrae Thurman, who had 845 receiving yards on 55 catches.
Eastern is hot. The Mountaineers responded to losses to Linfield (ranked No. 3 in Div. III) and Carroll College (ranked No. 1 in NAIA) by beating Whitworth (21-14) and the University of Puget Sound (43-36) the past two weeks.
The game will be played at 1 p.m. at Community Stadium.