The gloom setting of the weekend did not let up as the Southern Oregon University football team took to the field this past Saturday against Eastern Oregon University. The final score: EOU 39, SOU 29.
“We expect to win every game and it’s disappointing when we lose,” said SOU’s head football coach Craig Howard. “It was a rainy, nasty night and we didn’t play very well.” He explained that the team needs to focus on fumbles, interceptions and not allowing blocked puts.
Offensive lineman, Tanner Aldridge offered some explanation to the loss “I think overall it was a hard fought battle, we just had a few mental mistakes that ended up costing us the game.”
During the course of the game the Raiders had six fumbles, two interceptions and one blocked punt. In the first quarter EOU ended with 14, SOU 7 offering some promise of a comeback. However, by the middle of the third quarter chances of a comeback were low as EOU made another touchdown creating the biggest lead in the game with EOU 39, SOU 14.
The team was able to come together to score a 18-yard touchdown by Matt Retzlaff from SOU quarterback Jack Singler with just 2:08 left in the game. Leaving the Raiders with a closer point gap to end the game.
While the team was disappointed at the final score, the game itself boasted several career highs for some players. SOU linebacker Devvon Gage played a strong game with a total of 19 tackles. Matt Retzlaff finished Saturday night’s game with nine catches and 180 yards of receiving after coming back from an injury that cost him two games.
The team is using this loss to their advantage as they prepare to face College of Idaho this coming weekend. “As a team we are always continuing to improve. Issues that arose that we need to fix as a team are playing with more common enthusiasm and bringing more to practice,” said Sage Delong, defensive lineman.
With Saturday’s game behind them the Raiders are looking forward to the last scheduled games in the season. Four games remain between the Raiders and post season play; games that the Raiders must win to secure their place in playoffs. This coming weekend they go up against College of Idaho, followed by Montana Western Oct. 29. “We need to win the rest of the games to get into the playoffs, so everyone is pretty fired up,” said Aldridge.
The disappoint of Saturday’s loss is felt by the football team, coaching staff and students as they all hoped for a win against EOU. The Raiders know that they face a battle going into their last four games in the season, but as they’ve claimed they’re ready to fight to make it into the playoffs and represent SOU at high a level again.