LA GRANDE — The 14th-ranked Southern Oregon football team continued its assault on opponents and the record books Saturday, downing Eastern 63-35 for its fifth consecutive victory.
Southern Oregon improved to 7-2 with the win and sets up a likely NAIA Game of the Week senior day matchup with No. 7 Montana Tech next Saturday at Raider Stadium with the Frontier Conference championship on the line.
Eastern Oregon fell to 4-5 with the loss.
The Raiders' streak of four straight games with more than 700 yards of total offense came to an end, but SOU still finished with 642 total yards, including a record 550 yards passing for quarterback Austin Dodge. The sophomore broke his own record of 526 passing yards set last week, completing 32 of 55 passes with four touchdowns and one interception.
Southern Oregon raised its season point total to a program record 498, surpassing the previous record of 474 points scored by the 2001 team. The Raiders' 55.3 points-per-game average is on pace to break the NAIA season record of 54.7.
Patrick Donahue caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, while Cole McKenzie added seven catches for 119 yards and two scores. Donahue's 78 receptions this season break a tie for the SOU record, with McKenzie's 68 catches close behind. McKenzie's two touchdowns gave him an SOU record 14 this season, and his 1,215 yards receiving set a new program record, surpassing Spike Gordon's 1965 record of 1,163. Donahue is not far behind with 1,147 receiving yards.
Manny Barragan rushed for 63 yards on 18 carries and scored one rushing touchdown, and he tied Donahue for the team lead with eight receptions and tallied 98 yards through the air. Mike Olson caught five passes for a team-high 159 yards with one score and added three rushing touchdowns for four total scores.
Kalii Robinson led the SOU defense with 12 tackles, including two for loss, while Mike Seifert added 11 1/2 tackles. Daniel Breaux and Jake Boyd each recovered fumbles, and Juwuan Brown picked off a pass for SOU.
Eastern Oregon quarterback Jason Simonis completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for three touchdowns and an interception, and also ran for a game-high 138 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Jace Billingsly led the Mountaineers with 71 yards receiving and two scores on six catches, and Justin Reynolds added a touchdown grab.
Southern Oregon received the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards in less than two minutes, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Dodge to McKenzie. The Raiders went up 14-0 a few minutes later when Kammel passed to Clay Sierra in the end zone from seven yards out on a fake field goal attempt, and SOU took a three-score lead late in the first quarter when Olson ran it in from the 1.
A fumble recovery by Eastern Oregon in SOU's end zone gave the Mountaineers their first score right as the first quarter ended, and an 18-yard Simonis rushing touchdown after Dodge's interception made it 21-14. The EOU defense again stopped the SOU offense, and Simonis led an 11-play drive that tied the score on a 6-yard pass to Billingsley.
The Raiders responded on the following drive, as Dodge hit McKenzie for 37 yards on the first play before a roughing the kicker penalty on fourth-down gave SOU first-and-10 at the EOU 11. Dodge found Olson from 12 yards out on the next play to put the Raiders up 28-21. Southern Oregon got the ball back a couple minutes later and drove 80 yards on nine plays to go up 35-21 on a 9-yard Dodge pass to McKenzie.
After halftime, the SOU defense held Eastern Oregon and the SOU offense shook off a long field when it got the ball on its own 2. Dodge hit Olson for 67 yards on the first play, and seven plays later Olson ran it in from the 3 to give SOU a 42-21 advantage.
No. 14 Southern Oregon 63, Eastern Oregon 35
At La Grande
Southern Oregon 21 14 14 14 —63
Eastern Oregon 7 14 7 7 —35
SOU — McKenzie 8 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — Sierra 7 pass from Kammel (Amsler kick)
SOU — Olson 1 run (Amsler kick)
EOU — Flowers 1 fumble recovery (David kick)
EOU — Simonis 18 run (David kick)
EOU — Billingsley 6 pass from Simonis (David kick)
SOU — Olson 12 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — McKenzie 9 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — Olson 3 run (Amsler kick)
EOU — Billingsley 38 pass from Simonis (David kick)
SOU — Olson 4 run (Amsler kick)
SOU — Barragan 12 run (Amsler kick)
EOU — Reynolds 20 pass from Simonis (David kick)
First Downs 33 21
Rushes-Yards 35-85 46-235
Passing Yards 557 196
Comp-Att-Int 33-56-1 19-31-1
Total Yards 642 431
Punts 2-39 5-34.2
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 9-66 10-93
Southern Oregon — Barragan 18-63, Marshall 1-22, Dodge 1-11, Olson 9-11, Amsler 1-(-3), team 5-(-19).
Eastern Oregon — Simonis 18-138, Hurlbut 13-54, McGinnis-Parker 6-35, Orthmann 8-9, Rudder 1-(-1).
Southern Oregon — Dodge 32-55-1 550, Kammel 1-1-0 7.
Eastern Oregon — Simonis 19-31-1 196.
Southern Oregon — Donahue 8-143, Barragan 8-98, McKenzie 7-119, Olson 5-159, Otaguro 2-21, Retzlaff 1-12, Sierra 1-7, Kirkpatrick 1-(-2).
Eastern Oregon — Billingsley 6-71, Reynolds 3-28, Starr 2-27, Woody 2-25, Orthmann 2-21, Hurlbut 2-8, Ortiz 1-11, Gutierrez 1-5.