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Eagles face Hornets in Homecoming game

CHENEY – The Eastern Washington University community hopes Homecoming spirit will lift the Eagles football team back into its winning ways this Saturday.

The Eagles (1-4) are off to their worst start in Big Sky football since 2011. They are hoping to upend the undefeated, No. 4-ranked Sacrament State Hornets (5-0) this weekend at home on Roos Field before an expected boisterous Homecoming crowd.

Kickoff is at 4 p.m.

Eastern returns home after losing, 45-21, to undefeated Weber State (5-0). The visiting Hornets come into the game on a high note, having trounced Northern Colorado, 55-7, on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Sacramento State is having its best season since 1991.

Eagle quarterback Gunner Talkington comes into the Homecoming game with 1,084 yards passing on the season. His favorite target is Freddie Roberson, who has reeled in 302 yards in pass receptions, including three touchdowns.

Talking has completed 102 of 161 passes for 12 touchdowns.

For the running game, Talkington likes to had off to back Micah Smith, who has logged 187 yards so far this season. Smith averages 5.3 yards per carry on his 35 attempts.

On defense, the Eagles are led by defensive back Ely Doyle; he has 40 tackles so far this year.

The Eagles have picked off three passes this season, with Tre Weed, Jaren Banks and Marlon Jones Jr. each intercepting a pass.

The Hornets' offense is led by quarterback Jake Dunniway. He has completed 85 of 131 passes for 1,008 yards and eight TDs so far this season.

Look for him to pass to tight end Marshel Martin, who has amassed 342 yards receiving this season from the line. He has 25 catches and four touchdowns already under his belt.

To win the game, the Eagles are going to have to stop the Hornets' ground game.

Running back Cameron Skattebo leads the Hornets rushing game with 66 carries for 538 yards and five touchdowns.

Backup quarterback Asher O'Hara is a double threat for the Hornets.

He is Sacramento State's No. 2 rusher with 66 carries for 331 yards. O'Hara can also manage the Hornets' air attack, having completed 32 of 42 passes this season for 293 yards and four touchdowns.

The game follows an afternoon of tailgating and celebrating alumni returning to the campus.

The Alumni Association will host its Red Turf Nation Engagement Zone beginning at noon outside the Inferno Team Shop.

Those arriving early for the Homecoming game are encouraged to enjoy hot chocolate, snacks, games and more at the event.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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