CHENEY -- The Eastern Washington football team opens the FCS Playoffs this weekend at home against Southeast Missouri State.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05pm on Saturday at Roos Field in Cheney. It's the first time the Eagles have hosted a playoff game since 2004.
The Eagles (9-2) were ranked No. 1 in the final national poll of the regular season, but received a five-seed to the national tournament. That was good enough for a first round bye, but now they face tough Southeast Missouri State team for the first time ever.
The Redhawks (9-2) won the Ohio Valley Conference title this season, but they lost their final regular season game to No. 8 Jacksonville State on November 13th. They also had a first round bye into the FCS Playoffs, so they haven't seen the field in nearly three weeks.
Southeast Missouri State has the third best rushing offense in the FCS, averaging more than 271 yards per game (they only throw for 107 yards per contest). The star is 5'8" 185-pound running back Henry Harris. He's run for 1,627 yards this season (more than 147 yards per game). Quarterback Matt Scheible is also dangerous with his feet, running for nearly 76 yards per contest this year.
Luckily, Eastern Washington has a dangerous offensive duo as well. The Eagles are led by quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. He transferred to EWU from Southern Methodist University during the offseason. Mitchell has thrown for 2,538 yards and 25 touchdowns this season.
Taiwan Jones takes care of the running game for the Eagles. He's gone for 1,344 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. Jones has also added 21 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
The game will not be televised locally, but we'll have full coverage on KREM 2 News and KREM.com on Saturday.