Chadron State College quarterback Jonn McLain just gets a pass off last week with Black Hill State University's Harry Ulricksen in pursuit.

It’s a weekend road trip for the three local college football programs, the first time all three teams have been on the road at the same time.

With that said, there will be no college football to cover for yours truly on Saturday. That’s a bit weird, but I better get used to it; the college football season is nearly over.

Black Hills State University is at Colorado State-Pueblo (2 p.m.), South Dakota School of Mines is at Dixie State (6 p.m.) and Chadron State College is at New Mexico Highlands (1 p.m.).

It’s going to be a tough trip for all three programs, on the bus and on the playing field. BHSU travels 516 miles one-way to Pueblo, Mines travels 935 miles to St. George, Utah, and the Eagles travel 576 miles to Las Vegas … New Mexico, that is.

All three teams need a win, but all three will have their hands full.

For the Jackets, despite heading south, they have a long hill to climb against the No. 9 ThunderWolves. Pueblo, which was ranked second in the country earlier in the season, was upset by Fort Lewis College (a team the Jackets beat 40-14). The ThunderWolves, however, have bounced back to beat Chadron State and Colorado Mines and appear to be on their way to their third straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title.

Since that win over Fort Lewis, the Jackets, 1-5 in the RMAC, 2-6 overall, have lost five straight and will need a rally to get some life back in their season.

The Hardrockers have found the going tough in their first year (of a two-year stint) in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at 0-4 (1-7 overall). Dixie State is also winless in the GNAC (0-3) but picked up its first victory of the season last weekend, 28-6 over Menlo.

Give me a second. I need to figure out who or what Menlo is.

Okay, Menlo College is a NAIA school from Atherton, Calif.

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The ‘Rockers need a win in the worst way, having been outscored 219-95 in GNAC play.

Chadron State, 4-2 in RMAC, 5-2 overall, is coming off a win, 33-28 over Black Hills State, but will need to basically win out to have any shot at postseason play. With that said, it will still be a tough order for the Eagles in the competition Division II playoffs.

Highlands is 3-3 in league play and 3-5 overall, but is second in the league in scoring per game (35.2), second in total offense (536 ypg) and first in passing (436 ypg).

The Eagles will likely need to win a shootout.

With no local college football to cover on Saturday, the TV remote will get a workout. Hopefully there’s a game or 30 to watch.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.