COUNCIL BLUFFS — Iowa Western’s last two trips to Butler haven’t been pleasant experiences.

Last year, the Reivers lost 21-19 to the then-No. 4 Grizzlies, turning it over four times to go with 12 penalties for 139 yards. As the only blemish in an 11-1 season, it cost them a chance to play in the national championship game.

In 2015, the Reivers lost 40-7 and were physically dominated.

Saturday brings a chance for redemption for third-rated Iowa Western (7-1). The Reivers will travel to El Dorado, Kansas, to meet the No. 12 Grizzlies (7-2) for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

“If you need something to get yourself up for this game, you’re probably not a football player,” Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier said. “This is what you come to Iowa Western for. You want to be in these situations. They love playing in their home stadium and they get good crowds.”

There is the potential for a defensive-oriented game. No. 12 Butler (7-2) held Ellsworth to 67 total yards on 42 plays and four first downs last week in a 42-6 win. It hasn’t allowed more than 15 points in its past four games.

Iowa Western’s offensive line is depleted. Starting left tackle Tre Johnson has been ruled out with an injury and starting right tackle Ja’Chai Baker is doubtful. Andrew Beymer, another tackle with starting experience, has been lost for the season to injury.

“Obviously we won’t be doing everything we’d envisioned being able to do,” Strohmeier said.

But the Reivers are surrendering 15.8 points per game. In last week’s 39-7 win over Fort Scott, they allowed 238 total yards. So field position and special teams could play an even larger role Saturday.

Butler received excellent quarterback play last week. Trae Self completed 16 of 22 for 280 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Iowa Western, meanwhile, has relied on T.J. Starks and Clay Beathard, depending on the day. Starks left last week’s game with an ankle injury and Beathard finished, but both will be ready to go on Saturday, Strohmeier said.

“We have to be efficient there,” he said.

Another area of interest will be Iowa Western’s discipline. Last week, it was flagged 17 times for 152 yards, and the second half disintegrated into an ugly scene of personal fouls and unsportsmanlike-conduct violations, including player ejections from each team.

Receivers Mike Hill and Jason Harrison were recently dismissed from the squad.

“I like to win. I like to play. I love to coach,” Strohmeier said. “That end of the game wasn’t fun for me by any stretch. It wasn’t a good representation of college football, I didn’t think, on either side. At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to control your emotions.”

NJCAA final to be televised

The NJCAA’s national championship game will be televised for the first time.

The title game, set for 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kansas, will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.

“We are thrilled to announce the CBS Sports Network as our official television partner for the football championship game,” NJCAA president and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker said.

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