PREVIEW: Eagles take on UND for Homecoming

By Samuel Deal, Sports Editor

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The Eastern football team is looking to rebound Saturday during the homecoming game after losing its first conference game in over two years.

“After the game [the players] were hurting,” said head coach Beau Baldwin. “It is not okay what happened but is going to be okay moving forward if we are willing to fight back.”

The game is against the University of North Dakota. It will be the third meeting between the two schools. Eastern has won both contests, most recently last season’s 35-14 victory.

Even in their loss against Northern Arizona University, the Eagles had a bright spot in returning starter Quincy Forte who rushed for 219 yards. Forte will be playing Saturday as well, helping the Eagles to get back on track with winning.

The team will likely be playing its fourth straight game without starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. but UND starter Joe Mollberg is also out after tearing his Achilles tendon in a game last Saturday.

“We have to get a feel for where the new quarterback is in their system,” said Baldwin.

“They rely on their defense, which they should because their defense has been outstanding.”

UND is bringing the number one team defense in the Big Sky to Roos Field, allowing only 344.6 yards per game, according to bigskyconf.com.

The Eagles’ defense is led by senior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin who is attempting to set the all-time EWU record for tackles. Hamlin currently has 428 tackles and is four away from tying the current record holder, J.C. Sherritt.

The Eagles enter the game on a 16-game winning streak during the month of November and have a record of 52-32-3 in homecoming games.

Even with Adams out, the team will be depending on its veteran leaders, like Forte and Hamlin, to get back in the win column.

“We have great leaders and they are excited to bounce back,” said Baldwin. “It is our job as a program, as men, as leaders to come back and fight and scrap.”

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