Alongside the Saints’ road trip to Eastern Oregon, here’s what’s taking place in the rest of the Frontier Conference this week.
Montana State-Northern (1-9, 0-9) at College of Idaho (5-5, 5-4)
Recent games: The Lights look for the only Frontier win of the season on the road in a difficult-to-play environment in Caldwell. MSU-N has struggled this season, seeing their coach resign with three weeks remaining. Aside from a close call in the first game of the season, the Lights’ most recent 38-17 loss to Southern Oregon is their only relatively bright spot. The 38 points the Lights surrendered to the Raiders was its lowest total since Sept. 30 during a win against winless non-conference foe Mayville State. … College of Idaho has come on late in the season, earning a 64-35 win over a banged up, and ranked, Montana Tech team last weekend in Caldwell. As the Orediggers played without their top two offensive players, the Coyotes took advantage and unleashed their highest scoring outing of the season. COI running back Nick Calzaretta racked up five rushing touchdowns and a career-high 162 yards in the win.
Last meeting: The programs’ last met during the 2016 season. College of Idaho traveled to Montana State-Northern and came away with a 31-13 win.
Rocky Mountain College (5-5, 5-4) at Montana Western (4-6, 4-5)
Recent games: Rocky has alternated wins and losses for every weekend since Sept. 16 (save their bye weekend on Oct. 7). The Battlin’ Bears strung together a pair of wins in their first two Frontier Conference in the opening weeks of league play, but have been flip-flopping ever since. Last weekend, Rocky fell to Eastern Oregon 21-17 in Billings. It came just a weekend after earning a 30-27 win over Montana Tech. Rocky has secured at least a .500 record in conference for the first time since 2013, when it went 7-3. … Western enters the game having lost three of its last four. The Bulldogs went to Helena last weekend and and couldn’t slow down the Saints’ rushing attack. It became the second consecutive loss for Western, having previously fallen to No. 5 Southern Oregon 44-19.
Last meeting: The teams’ last meeting came back in 2016 in the regular season finale then. Western visited Rocky and found a 26-10 victory, capping off a 7-4 season. This year, Western will be trying to hit the .500 conference mark with a win, and Rocky will be looking to finish a season above .500.
No. 5 Southern Oregon (9-0) at No. 22 Montana Tech (6-3)
Recent games: Montana Tech has fallen apart late in the season. The Orediggers had no room for error after suffering an upset on Oct. 7 against Montana Western, 42-35. After that loss, Montana Tech put two games together, but in the last two weeks the Orediggers have lost any shot of making the playoffs. MTT fell to Rocky Mountain in Butte, and then took a loss at College of Idaho. For the second consecutive year, injuries have derailed a promising Tech season. … No. 5 Southern Oregon meanwhile looks poised to make a deep playoff run. The Raiders have swept through the Frontier, and in recent weeks have done so in commanding fashion. In their past three games, the Raiders have outscored their opponents 118-43. SOU offense and defense have been strong this season under first-year head coach Charlie Hall.
Last meeting: SOU, in a down 2016, fell 38-27 to Montana Tech. This year, the Raiders and Orediggers figured to be battling in the last week of the season to determine the top team from the Frontier. As injuries have taken their toll, the Raiders look to be the clear favorite in this game and for a perfect regular season record.