ATHENA The Weston-McEwen TigerScots have walked over every opponent thats stood in front of them this season. Now only one team stands in the way of the Blue Mountain Conference title: The Enterprise Outlaws.
Following a 38-8 takedown of Heppner last week in Athena, the TigerScots (8-0, 5-0 BMC) will look to avoid a slip-up in the final game of the season when they travel to Enterprise to face the Outlaws (5-2, 4-1 BMC) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
A victory for the road team would complete a dominant undefeated season for Weston-McEwen but with a loss, all chances for a Blue Mountain championship would evaporate. Enterprise would own the conference championship with the head-to-head victory as a tiebreaker.
With Enterprise, theyre a good football team, another team thats disciplined, TigerScots head coach Kenzie Hansell said. Its the last week of the season and the league championship; you cant ask for much more.
The matchup was nearly a meeting of conference unbeatens. Both Enterprise and Weston-McEwen entered last weeks contests without a league loss and the season-finale showdown building a frenzy on the horizon. The TigerScots held up their end but Enterprise fell victim to Stanfield in a 35-34 upset.
A missed extra point was the difference for Enterprise.
The TigerScots have scored in bunches this season more than 100 points ahead of any other conference foe but the story of their season has really been defense. Opponents score about five points against Weston-McEwen per game and the TigerScots have pitched five shutouts this season.
Compared to Weston-McEwen, the Outlaws defensive numbers look pedestrian, but Enterprise is no chump defending the ball. They rank second in the conference in points allowed, albeit many touchdowns behind Weston-McEwen.
The TigerScots season schedule concludes with the toughest two teams in the conference not from Athena. For running back Elliot Salter, its the perfect pump-up for the playoffs.
It helps a lot just playing a better team and getting that experience, Salter said. Theyre going to have big plays and youve got to bounce back and experience more than shutouts.
Thats the reaction Hansell hoped for from his players. Difficult games keep the team grounded in the present instead of allowing their minds to drift off toward the postseason.
I absolutely, completely like the schedule, he said. Every game here at the end we look at as a must win just like the playoffs. As a coach, I really like that.