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Eastern Oregon University’s defense celebrates following a stop in a 2019 game against MSU-Northern. The Frontier Conference announced its updated 2020 schedule, which has been altered due to COVID-19. The Mountaineers will open and close the 2020 campaign against in-state rival Southern Oregon.

LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon University football team now will open and close the season with the Small School Civil War.

The Frontier Conference Monday announced its new modified schedule for the 2020 football season, which was forced to be altered by the COVID-19 outbreak. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in early June reported football schedules would be cut from a maximum of 11 games to nine.

The altered schedule for the Frontier has each team now playing eight games. Eastern Oregon, which was originally going to open the season with an Aug. 29 home game against Montana Tech, now will face Southern Oregon in a night game Sept. 12 in the latest installment of the in-state rivalry.

The last time Eastern opened the season with a home matchup against SOU was in 2016, when the Mountaineers won a 45-40 thriller against the then-No. 2 Raiders. That also was the last time EOU topped SOU at Community Stadium. Their last three wins against Southern have come in Ashland.

It will be the first of two home games for EOU to start the season, as it will follow with a meeting against Montana Tech on Sept. 19. Road games at Montana Western and Rocky Mountain College follow on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3 with a conference-wide bye week on the 10th.

EOU will open the back half of the season Oct. 17 with a home contest against MSU-Northern, then a road game at Carroll College. On Halloween, the Mountaineers will host Interstate-84 rival College of Idaho in the only matchup between the schools this season, then finish with a road game at Southern Oregon Nov. 7.

Typically, EOU would face three opponents twice in a season — SOU, C of I and one of the conference’s Montana schools. This will be the first time since the Yotes reinstated their program that EOU and C of I won’t meet twice in a season.

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