COUNCIL BLUFFS — Iowa Western needs a little help.
The Reivers (8-1) are third in the nation entering their regular-season finale Saturday against No. 15 Highland (6-3) with the top two teams qualifying for the national championship game Nov. 29.
Also this week, No. 1 East Mississippi (10-0) will meet No. 4 Jones (9-1) and No. 2 Garden City (9-0) will face No. 14 Butler (7-3).
While the Reivers are hoping for one of the top two teams to lose, coach Scott Strohmeier said the real tragedy would be for that to happen and his team not to take care of business on its end.
“We can get all the help we want, but if we don’t take care of what’s in front of us, it’s not going to matter,’’ he said.
The Scotties were picked sixth in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference but are fourth at 4-3 and have won their last two games. Highland is located in the smallest town in the league, and probably has the worst facilities. The program uses that as a rallying cry, and it works.
The Scotties have won their last two games, beating Dodge City (40-33) and Independence (24-21). Strohmeier said a win by Highland this week would likely lock down a bowl berth.
“There’s plenty of motivation for them,’’ he said. “They play hard. They’re physical. They’re tough. They’ll be ready to go.’’
The Reivers will get back right tackle Ja’Chai Baker, the Council Bluffs Lewis Central graduate, this week. However, center Josh Wegener and quarterback Clay Beathard will be out with injuries. Beathard has seen plenty of meaningful action this season. Kolten Wilwerding, the former Glenwood standout, will be the No. 2 quarterback this week.
“At this time of year, it’s just about finding a way to win,’’ Strohmeier said.
The Reivers coach said it’s expected that 40 players will be honored Saturday for completing their time with the program. Iowa Western is 19-2 the past two years.
Strohmeier said it’s important “for us to be able to send those guys out with a win and move into the postseason and see where things fall.’’