Carroll Saints Gearing Up for MSU-Northern - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Saints Gearing Up for MSU-Northern

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Three weeks ago the Carroll Saints hosted a one win Eastern Oregon squad thinking it would be an easy win. Three consecutive losses later, and they've learned the value of not underestimating any opponent.

"We're 3-4 and we're on a three game losing streak so we've got the same record as they do the last three games so it doesn't make any difference," said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "We haven't won a game in October, and they haven't either. So it's kind of a battle of the guys that are on a downward slide."

Last week was maybe the toughest game yet for Carroll, as the Saints defense gave up a ton of big runs, and with the Frontier Conference's second leading rusher in Zach McKinley coming to town, they hope they can finally shore up that run defense.

"All season it's been the killer," said Saints senior linebacker Dawson Osborn. "Big plays have hurt us all season. And what it all comes down to is playing our gap responsibilities, and at the end of the day just making tackles. We see Melvin Mason, Saraceni, I mean we see great backs every week, and Zach McKinley is no different. He's a great running back."

Though the Lights defense has given up at least 40 points in all but one game this season, they do boast some pretty potent pass rushers in Jordan Brusio with 5.5 sacks, and Tyler Craig with seven, which puts him second in the conference in that category. The Saints would be well served to know where both are at all times.

"We have two senior offensive tackles that are four year starters," said Van Diest. "And if they can't get it done then we're going to be in big trouble on Saturday, because those guys are both good. We've got to be able to block Craig one on one. If we have to double team him, then we'll do that too."

"He plays hard every single play," said Saints senior quarterback Mac Roche. "I mean there's not lack of effort, especially by all those guys on defense. Tyler Craig is going to be rushing the quarterback every single time so we're going to have to make sure we know where he's at."

Carroll hasn't finished a season .500 or worse since 1999, and will need to win their final three games to keep that streak alive, starting with MSU Northern.

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