HELENA — Carroll College is set to take on the College of Idaho Yotes in an away game in the final regular season game of the 2022 season, and this game is for all the marbles.
A win for the Saints would mean that they would share the league title with the Yotes as they would both finish the regular season with a record of 8-2.
“It's a big game. You know, we have kind of been talking about it for a long time. But we just talked about how we've been putting the work in for the last year, and we've been doing football year round. And we've been practicing really hard and working our tails off for this moment. And this is the common goal that we all had,” senior tight end Tony Collins said.
A Frontier Conference title usually means an automatic playoff berth, but if the Saints win and the title is shared it comes down to a tie breaker which comes down to head-to-head, Fewest defensive points allowed in conference games, and point differential between tied teams in head-to-head. Carroll has a 127 to 160 advantage in defensive points.
“We know what we want to play for, and there is no better way for us to go out as a senior class and with a conference championship and a potential chance to continue to play for a national championship,” Collins said.
The last time the Saints saw the Yotes was back in October on a rainy and cold day, the rain was hard on Carroll's run game, and QB Jack Prka was sacked nine times in their 20-31 loss.
Collins says that schematically, the Yotes and the Saints are very similar teams, and it’s going to come down to who wants it more come Saturday's game.
"We sit here and we know how it feels to lose to those guys at home in the first game. And we're hungry for that for that chance to go into their house to beat those guys. So this is something that we're ready for. And you can't make up a better scenario than this will make you come back and you finish the second half of the year strong and then you get opportunity to play for a conference championship at someone else's home," Collins said.
Head coach Troy Purcell feels lucky that his team is in such a tough position on Saturday.
"There's a lot of teams and a lot of programs that never get to this stage to have this opportunity. And so just feel fortunate with our, with our seniors, with our group, our core group of guys, and this coaching staff be able to come together and put a great season like this together and have this opportunity," he said.
Purcell says the Saints' locker room this week has been excited and that they're looking forward to their opportunity for 'the dream.'
"The dream, you know, you always dream, everybody wants to be a champion," he said.
When asked about the team's confidence heading into Caldwell, Collins responded "So confident... we're ready for it. Whatever the weather is no matter what it is."
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Simplot Stadium.