The Southern Oregon University Football team simply could not find a way past the Central Washington Wildcats as they lost 27-0 this Saturday.
However the final score did not truly reflect the amount of effort that Southern Oregon put into the game.
â€œI thought we battled for four quarters,â€ said SOU head football coach Steve Helminiak. â€œWe didnâ€™t get the results we wanted, but battled and didnâ€™t quit.â€
Through the first quarter the Raider offense struggled to convert first downs.Â This allowed Central Washington to capitalized as they took a 10-0 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter saw the Raiders offense slowly moving the ball and the defense stepped up big with a fumble recovery before the half after allowing a touchdown early on.
During the first defensive series after the half, linebacker JT Gilmore was taken out for a play due to an injury, and redshirt freshman Lance Tausaga took his place. The play following the temporary switch, Tausaga came up with the second turnover for the Raiders of the day.
The rest of the third quarter remained with the Wildcats ahead 17-0.
The fourth quarter started brightly for Southern Oregon.
A five-yard penaly, a sack on junior quarterback Paul Sweeney and a defensive pass-interference call against the Wildcats gave SOU some breathing room.
Two runs for seven yards by junior running back Marshawn Friloux, whom was splitting carries with Michael Springer this week in place of the injured Brandon Baldwin, made it third and short.
â€œI though they both played hard,â€ said Helminiak on Friloux and Springer, â€œTheyÂ both found seams to run into, but it was hard to get into a regular running game today.â€
The Raiders continued their drive as Paul Sweeney converting two passes to sophomore tight end Justin Avriett and to senior receiver Danny Kennan to get into Wildcat territory.
A penalty on the Wildcats moved the ball up a few yards, but after a short completion and a penalty, SOU had to settle for a field goal by Tyler Crowley to try to break the shutout threat.
However Crowley was unable to convert the kick and the score remained still at 17-0.
The Wildcats capitalized on the miss by scoring a touchdown to go up 24-0.Â With another SOU three and out and two penalties, the Raider defense were pinned deep with the endzone to their backs.
However, the defense made a stand, forcing a three and out of there own half, forcing Central Washington to result to a field goal which was converted making the score 27-0.
Southern got the ball back looking for one last chance to score before the final whistle.
Sweeney passed to junior receiver Matt Brown to convert on 3rd down to keep the drive alive.Â After three Sweeney incompletions, SOU resorted to Jorden Nielsen to punt the ball away with less than a minute to go in the game.
The loss drops SOU to 2-4 on the season with a home game against Mary-Hardin Baylor this weekend.
Sweeney went 12 for 30 for 110 yards; Friloux rushed for 28 yards on 12 carries and Jake Kyle led the Raiders in tackles with 11.
Note:Â Jeremy McDonald is a member of the Southern Oregon Football coaching staff.