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Northwest Notes Dec. 26, 2020

| December 26, 2020 1:05 AM

EWU announces fall 2021 football schedule

They still have a spring schedule to play in 2021, but the Eastern Washington Eagles have announced their fall football schedule for '21.

The Eagles will host Central Washington on Sept. 11, 2021, at Roos Field in Cheney, thus completing the schedule. Eastern will also play first-ever non-conference meetings on the road versus UNLV on Thursday, Sept. 2, and at Western Illinois on Sept. 18.

Eastern's Big Sky Conference schedule will begin on Sept. 25 versus Portland State, and also includes home games against Southern Utah (Oct. 16), Sacramento State (Nov. 6) and Idaho State (Nov. 20).

The four conference games on the road for EWU will be at Montana State (Oct. 9), Cal Poly (Oct. 23), Idaho (Oct. 30) and Northern Arizona (Nov. 13).

EWU does not play Montana in fall 2021. Because not every Big Sky school will play each other each year, each Big Sky school was assigned two "protected rivals" that they will play each year, and Eastern's are Portland State and Idaho. (Idaho's are EWU and Montana State).

Central Washington and Eastern were rivals in the NAIA and Evergreen Conference prior to EWU becoming a member of NCAA Division I and the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as I-AA) in 1984. The Wildcats are now in NCAA Division II and a member of the Great Northwest Conference.

Eastern leads the all-time series 35-30-4, including a 10 victories in the last 11 meetings since 1978. Eastern is 7-1 versus the Wildcats since EWU moved to FCS, with Central beating Eastern in Cheney 21-14 in 2006. Eastern has won the two meetings since then – 35-32 in 2010 at Qwest Field (now Lumen Field) in Seattle, and 58-13 in 2018 in Cheney.

The Wildcats did not play in fall of 2020 and have not announced any games for the spring. They ended the 2019 season with a six-game winning streak and finished 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the GNAC. Central opened the season with a 41-31 loss at Idaho, and its lone GNAC loss was 36-26 to Eastern Oregon.

Eastern is scheduled to begin its spring-only 2020-21 Big Sky Conference schedule on Feb. 27 at Portland State, followed by a March 6 home game at Roos Field versus Montana. That will be the first game on the new red Astroturf surface installed at Roos Field last summer.

Eastern will also play Cal Poly (April 10 in Cheney) and Montana State (April 3 in Bozeman) as part of the abbreviated schedule. The NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs — just 16 teams this year — are slated to begin on April 24 and conclude on May 15 (or an alternate date that weekend).

2021 EWU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 2 (Thursday) — at UNLV

Sept. 11 — vs. CENTRAL WASHINGTON

Sept. 18 — at Western Illinois

Sept. 25 — vs. PORTLAND STATE

Oct. 2 — Bye

Oct. 9 — at Montana State

Oct. 16 — vs. SOUTHERN UTAH

Oct. 23 — at Cal Poly

Oct. 30 — at Idaho

Nov. 6 — vs. SACRAMENTO STATE

Nov. 13 — at Northern Arizona

Nov. 20 — vs. IDAHO STATE

Cascade Conference pushes back basketball until at least March

CORVALLIS, Ore. — COVID-19 and state regulations derailed the start of any conference-wide men's and women's basketball until at least March, the Cascade Collegiate Conference office announced Tuesday.

Recent developments where Walla Walla University, The Evergreen State College and Southern Oregon University have opted out of participation in men's and women's basketball for the 2020-21 season — along with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) continued ban on high contact sports for the immediate future — led to the decision.

"With three schools opting out and the Oregon schools, still not being able to practice or play due to state health authority regulations, the very difficult decision was made to move the basketball season to March and April,” stated Commissioner Robert Cashell. “The decision was made with the hope that COVID-19 cases will subside, the vaccine will have become widely available and restrictions loosened."

The 12-team league will have only Lewis-Clark State College and the College of Idaho pursuing NAIA postseason play at this time. Northwest University was also able to play early season games, but has paused most activities and will resume in March if the conference is able to play.

Revised schedules will be released once the final number of teams participating is solidified.