Courtesy: Southern Oregon University Athletics
CALDWELL, Idaho –Fans at College of Idaho’s Simplot Stadium were introduced to the right arm of Austin Dodge (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview) on Saturday afternoon. After seventh-ranked Southern Oregon’s 66-16 win, the good news is they’ll never have to see it again.
The Raiders (7-1 overall, 6-1 Frontier Conference) got loose in a hurry with touchdowns on each of their first six drives, four of which lasted less than one minute. Dodge aired it out often, going 23-for-29 for 443 yards and four touchdown passes in leading SOU to a 693-260 yardage advantage over the Coyotes (4-4, 3-4).
By halftime Dodge was already 10-for-13 with 308 yards, Ryan Retzlaff (Medford, Ore./South Medford) and Dylan Young (Salem, Ore./North Salem) already had five catches and two touchdowns apiece, and the Raiders led 42-10.
The game these teams played in Ashland on Sept. 20, their first meeting in 46 years, was knotted 28-all early in the third quarter.
SOU and third-ranked Carroll remain tied for first place, now two games ahead of 13th-ranked Rocky Mountain, which was a 20-17 loser Saturday at Montana Western. Rocky, the only Frontier team SOU hasn’t defeated since joining the circuit in 2012, will visit Raider Stadium next Saturday for a 1 p.m. tilt.
The Raiders pounced on the Coyotes starting with the first play from scrimmage, a 65-yard strike from Dodge to Ryan Retzlaff (Medford, Ore./South Medford) for a touchdown.
SOU’s tailbacks got to work next – first Keegan Lawrence (Sherwood, Ore./Sherwood), who made it 14-0 by ending a short drive with a nine-yard run, then Sean Tow (Diamond Springs, Calif./Union Mine), whose seven-yard run capped a three-play, 63-yard drive for a 21-10 lead.
The fourth play of SOU’s next drive was a 73-yard bomb from Dodge to Young. The first play of the drive after that was a screen pass to Retzlaff, who took it 50 yards to the house. Retzlaff totaled 199 receiving yards and Young had 186, season-bests for both players.
Melvin Mason (Vacaville, Calif./Vacaville) led the ground game with 12 carries, 80 yards and one TD. Tow scored twice with 63 yards, and Lawrence ran three times for 57 yards and a TD.
The Coyotes totaled 540 yards in the teams’ first matchup.
Laurence Calcagno (Canby, Ore./Canby) headed the Raider defense again with 12 tackles, three for losses, and a fumble that he forced and recovered. Isiah Carter (Las Vegas, Nev./Canyon Springs) and Heston Altenbach (Coquille, Ore./Coquille) had 10 tackles apiece, and Julius Rucker (Portland, Ore./Westview) intercepted C of I quarterback Teejay Gordon.
Gordon was considerably less effective than in his first try against SOU. He went 15-for-26 with 124 yards through the air, and netted 52 yards on 23 rushes.
The Raiders’ 693 yards were their most since racking up 694 against Montana Western on Oct. 26 of last season.