Eagles and Grizzlies face-off in playoffs


Jessica Hawley

Zach Wimberly catches a pass versus Montana on Nov. 8

By Samuel Deal, Sports Editor

Roos Field will house a familiar opponent Dec. 6 as the Eagles play host to the University of Montana Grizzlies in the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. The teams played against each other less than a month ago, with the Eagles coming out on top, 36-26.

The Eagles will enter the second round playoff game well rested coming off a bye, which the team earned as the fourth seed in the FCS tournament.

“Thats what we work for all season, to make it to the playoffs and have homefield advantage. It gives us a leg up,” said senior safety Tevin McDonald

The Grizzlies had to defeat University of San Diego, which they did handily, 52-14, on Nov. 29 at Washington Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Montana.

The game will be EWU’s 23rd FCS playoff appearance, but it will be the first time Eastern plays a conference opponent in the tournament. The teams finished first and second in the regular season conference standings.

“Whatever happened a month ago doesn’t matter. Whatever happened last year doesn’t matter,” said head coach Beau Baldwin. “We are going to battle with a really good team in the playoffs, they just so happen to also be a team in our conference.”

Montana finished the season with the number one scoring defense in the Big Sky, while Eastern finished with the number two ranked offense.

Eastern will be led by recently crowned Big Sky offensive player of the year quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who will be attempting to avoid the pass rush of the conference defensive player of the year Zack Wagenmann.

In the previous matchup, Adams was returning from an ankle injury that held him out of four games this season. He will take the field having only played two games in the previous month.

“We earned the right to play in December,” said Adams. “It is a new season now, we just got to keep playing and practicing hard, not taking things for granted.”

The game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m.