Southern Oregon University beat College of Idaho 36-7 in their football game last weekend, allowing the Raiders to continue with their undefeated season.
Just one week after being named the NAIA’s Offensive Player of the Week for the Coyotes’ win against Montana Western, College of Idaho’s starting quarterback, Darius-James Peterson, was pestered by a potent Raider defense throughout the entirety of the game Saturday afternoon.
Peterson absorbed 11 sacks, four of which came from SOU junior defensive end Sean Rogers, and threw one interception which was caught by SOU defensive back, Oshay Dunmore. The sophomore quarterback was able to complete seven of 18 passes through the air, and was held to a meager 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. The Raiders’ defense also forced six fumbles on their way to nearly posting their first shutout since 2003.
The College of Idaho allowed 29 points in the first half, failing to stop the Raiders’ aerial attack, orchestrated by SOU’s senior quarterback, Tanner Trosin. Trosin accounted for over 300 yards passing for the ninth straight game while completing 26 of 39 of his passes.
Redshirt junior receiver, Bronsen Ader posted nine catches for 115 yards in his second game back from a sprained knee, while fellow redshirt junior Rey Vega added five catches for 75 yards to go with 10 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Michael Roots went on to run for 47 yards and a touchdown in the victory as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Rogers’ four sacks led the way, while Isiah Carter had two sacks of his own and Tyson Cooper added 12 tackles for the SOU defense.
The undefeated football team has faced adversity in the year as this season follows the death of pervious head coach, Craig Howard. “They’re a dedicated team and have an inner drive to play for coach Howard,” said current head coach Charlie Hall. “They have a strong team dynamic, everyone appreciates each other.”
This sentiment of a strong dynamic is echoed during an interview with senior Sam Woods, a defensive lineman in his third season of football at SOU. “We all hold each other accountable, to a high standard, both on the field and in class,” Woods explained.
“Coach Howard made us a family,” he added, “So when he passed we were all 100% supportive and there for each other.” According to Woods, the team always plays for their late coach. He said, “SOU is the best school for NAIA football, if not for college football overall. There’s a real family atmosphere here that is hard to find anyplace else.”
Jack Singler, last year’s quarterback and a coach this year, described the transition from player to coach as a weird one: “I played football for 17 or 18 years, so going from player to coach was weird. The team made it easy though and the coaching staff took me under their wing.”
He described Howard as a father figure for the football team. “The team bonded more than ever after his passing,” Singler said, “And now they play every game for him, they all touch the rock outside as they walk on the field.”
“They’re one big family. [The team] is like a brotherhood,” Singler said.
The undefeated Raiders (7-0) will look to keep their momentum going against Montana Western University in their final home game of the season. The team hopes to continue their dominance while preparing to face a ranked Montana Tech University team in the final game before the NAIA Championship Series.