ASHLAND- This past Saturday, the Southern Oregon University Raiders Football team beat Rocky Mountain College 24-23 in their second home game of the season.
“This game is a turning point, it’s going to define the rest of the season,” explained former Defender Jacob Proul before the game. “After this we are going into our most important games,” referring to Raider rivals Eastern Oregon and fifth ranked Montana Tech. Prowl talked about that a win here would give the team the boost they need to going into the upcoming games.
The start of the game was slow, but minutes into the second quarter Tanner Trosin scored with a quarterback draw bringing the Raiders to the lead (6-0), and after the kick 7-0. That was not the only score of the first half. Rocky Mountain College scored a field goal and a touchdown, leaving the Raiders behind by three points (7-10).
By halftime, SOU experienced its first deficit of the season with a score of 7-10. As the buzzer went off, Keegan Lawrence had an interception from the Bears quarterback.
During the third quarter, the Raiders used their momentum and scored two touchdowns, making the score 21-10, and only five minutes into the fourth quarter Marcus Montano scored another field goal, which brought the Raiders to their final score of 24 points.
With only eight minutes and thirty seconds left of the game, Rocky Mountain College gained momentum with two touchdowns, and brought the score back up to 24-23 with only the last minute and thirty seconds, and possession of the ball. Rather than attempting a kick that would tie the game and send it into overtime, the Bears attempted a play for the two-point conversion to win the game, but the pass was incomplete, which led the Raiders to another victory.
“It was a good game,” said senior Defenseman Armando Gauger. “RMC came to play. As a team we had to overcome some adversity, stick together, and work hard to get the win.”
Senior, Oshay Dunmore, said, “We don’t want to have to rise to the occasion, we want to be ready and prepared for any opponent we face.”
Defensive Line Coach Grant Torgerson, a former player, was pleased with the game’s outcome: “Obviously when it’s a close game it takes a lot to stay focused and overcome the challenges to win,” he said. “It showed a lot of strength and maturity to pull out the win.”
This victory left the Southern Oregon Raiders with a 5-0 record making them one of 10 teams in the NAIA to be still undefeated this season, and moved them to #8 in the NAIA’s top 25 list.