HELENA — After being on the road and notching a win against Eastern Oregon to advance their record to 2-1, the Fighting Saints have been preparing for Saturday’s homecoming game against Southern Oregon.
“Hey man it's Frontier Conference, you gotta get ready to go. They got a real good defense and offensive line. Their first stringers are top notch players man, they can get out there and play. Expect a pretty good air show and then number four, their running back (Christian Quirarte), he's a solid runner and making it happen. So it's always been a great contest. Coach Hall over there has done a great job, they're very, very well coached. And it's gonna be all the way down the last drive, the last series, and [we have] the advantage, you know, we're in Nelson Stadium,” head coach Troy Purcell said.
Carroll will enter their homecoming game with two NAIA players of the week on their side. True freshman kicker, Spencer Berger who went 3-for-3 in field goal attempts and was a perfect 2-for-2 in extra points.
“Put out the whole world on his shoulders cap timeout at the end to win the game and he came through in the clutch so I'm just very proud of him,” Purcell said.
The other POTW being junior defensive back and Helena native Zach Spiroff who wrapped last week’s game with four tackles, two interceptions and a blocked PAT for a safety.
“That was definitely a big confidence boost. Didn't have the first half the first quarter really, that I would have liked to, I faced some adversity there. But it was awesome for me to have my teammates stand behind me and never waver and in their supporting me. And that meant a lot. And it was huge to be able to go and make some plays for my teammates. And you know, for all their support they have in me and having my back to go out and be able to make something happen for them was probably the most special thing about that,” Spiroff said.
Last time Carroll played at Nelson they took down number one Montana Western 16-10.
“Everybody loves playing here at home Nelson stadium. There's no place like it on the frontier. And our fan support against Western was unreal. This place was packed and we hope to see it again that way when we play southern Oregon and hope to put a good product on the field,” the defensive back said.
Spiroff is ready to expect anything when it comes to Saturday's game, noting that SOU's 1-2 record doesn't reflect how talented the team is.
"They definitely had the possibility of being 3-0. But they're a very talented team. They have very talented football players, and they're well coached. And we expect it to be a fight all the way to the end, just like all of our games against Southern Oregon have been. But we're expecting a lot of different things from them, we watch a lot of film on these guys, they do a lot of different things, and pass the ball very well... so all the cards are on the table this week in terms of trying to figure these guys out," he said.
The defensive back is looking forward to playing Saturday in front of Carroll's Hall of Famers.
"They really bring out the pride and tradition of Carroll College, the national championship teams and stuff like that. It's a very special environment for us," Spiroff said.
Saturday's homecoming game is set to kick off at 2 p.m.