MT. PLEASANT — It’s now or never for the Iowa Wesleyan football team. The Tigers host the University of Northwestern this weekend on Senior Day, their last game under head coach Michael Richtman and their last shot to secure a victory in 2019.
While the game doesn’t have any postseason or conference championship implications, the Tigers’ 0-9 record is enough to make it the Tigers’ biggest game of the year. It’s the difference between going out with a goose egg or ending the season, and the Richtman era, on a positive note.
The Tigers will face a Northwestern team playing their best ball of the season. The Eagles have won two of their last three games, with the loss being a road game against UMAC champion Martin Luther.
The Eagles are led by running back Payton Bowdry, who averages 99 rushing yards a game, which is third-best in the confernce. Bowdry has 10 rushing touchdowns on the year, one under the UMAC leaders.
Northwestern doesn’t have the best passing game in the conference, averaging just 105.4 yards per game. Quarterback Damon Clapper has thrown for six touchdown passes and eight interceptions. His top target has been Evan Pruitt, who averages 45.6 yards per game. Caleb Sieben haverages 43.4 receiving yards per game, and the two have three touchdowns between them.
The Tigers hope to find their offense in their final home game. The 21 points they put up at homecoming was their biggest output of the year, and they’ve scored just eight points in their last two games.
Northwestern’s defense gave up just three scores in their 27-17 win over Westminster last week. The Eagles have given up 40 points or more in four of their games this year.
Kickoff is set for 12 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 16. IW comes into the game 0-9 overall and 0-7 in the conference, and Northwestern is 3-6 overall and 3-4 in UMAC play.