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The Observer Paper 10/22/14

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Tony Adame

The Observer

Heading into its regular season finale against the University of Montana-Western, the Eastern Oregon University football team will get a chance to recognize a group of seniors, 17 in all, who have brought the program unprecedented success.

Back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 25 years, beating ranked opponents, national recognition.

All from a group that went 1-9 as freshmen in 2002.

"These kids took a lot of pride in representing EOU and the tradition they were trying to establish," said EOU head coach Jim Fenwick. "Before, there was not a lot of confidence, a lot of turnover from year to year.

"The fact that we've established a foundation for the program for years to come is rewarding. As a coach, you're able to just sit back and enjoy the relationships you've established with the players."

Fenwick took over the reins at EOU in 2002, and has seen steady improvement since.

4-6 in 2003, 6-3 in 2004 and the school's first winning season since 1998.

This year, 5-3 so far with a chance to equal 2004's record.

"This is what we've been striving for since I took over," said Fenwick. "These kids have played in our system, are on line to graduate and believe in what we're doing. We're not on everybody's homecoming schedule anymore and we're proud of what we've developed."

EOU will face a 2-8 Montana-Western team coming off of a win over Rocky Mountain 45-13, in which Western piled up 492 yards of total offense.

Quarterback Travis Blome went 22 of 33 in the win, passing for 351 yards and four touchdowns.

Running back Caleb Drinkwalter rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Game time Saturday is 1 p.m.


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