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UMW-EOU football

Montana Western running back Hunter Thomson bulls his way into the end zone for a touchdown, despite the efforts of Eastern Oregon's Tucker Stanley, top, and Elu Teuteu during the teams' Sept. 10 meeting in Dillon.

Al Balderas, The Montana Standard

The 21st-ranked Montana Western football team will be looking to work its way up the league standings — as well as earn some revenge — when it visits 12th-ranked Eastern Oregon on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (4-3, 3-3 Frontier), who are sitting fifth in the standings, lost to the Mountaineers (4-2) by a 35-23 margin in Dillon back on Sept. 10. But Western closes its season with games against each of the three teams tied for second behind first-place Tech, beginning with EOU.

Western will need to slow Mountaineers quarterback Zach Bartlow, who put up 343 yards and four touchdowns through the air in the first meeting, and led EOU to a 39-29 upset of rival Southern Oregon a week ago. Bartlow is seventh in the nation with over 326 yards of total offense per game this season.

The Bulldogs will look to keep the ball out of Bartlow's hands by leaning on it's Frontier-leading rushing attack, which is averaging nearly 184 yards per game despite injuries to all-conference tailback Sam Rutherford. Hunter Thomson will likely shoulder the majority of the load after grinding out 106 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in a 30-20 home win over College of Idaho last week.

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