LA GRANDE — The Southern Oregon University football conjured a foolproof remedy to its recent late-game woes on Saturday: Put up the second-highest point total in program history and leave Eastern Oregon behind well before the final buzzer.
The Raiders bolted to a 27-point halftime lead en route to a 73-20 clubbing of the Mountaineers for their first win of the season in Frontier Conference play at Community Stadium.
Austin Dodge tossed five of his six touchdown passes in the first half — including four directed at freshman Matt Retzlaff, who also rushed for a TD — and sophomore Zach Marshall set a career high with 126 yards on 17 carries, one of which went for a three-yard score to erase EOU's only lead in the first quarter.
Retzlaff was only the third Raider to catch four TD passes in school history, and the first since Alphonso Harris did it against Willamette in 1993.
The Raiders (1-3 overall, 1-2 Frontier) have now toppled Eastern (0-4, 0-3) in six straight meetings. In three games dating back to last season, they've outscored the Mountaineers 204-77.
SOU's 620 total yards of offense were good for 10th-best in school history. The Raiders stuck the Mountaineers with 1,348 yards in two games last year.
Southern Oregon 73,Eastern Oregon 20
At Community Stadium
Southern Oregon 14 27 11 21 —73
Eastern Oregon 14 0 6 0 —20
EOU — McGinnis-Park 37 run (David kick)
SOU — Marshall 3 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — M. Retzlaff 14 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
EOU — McGinnis-Park 6 pass from Bartlow (David kick)
SOU — M. Retzlaff 8 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — M. Retzlaff 3 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — R. Retzlaff 4 pass from Dodge (pass failed)
SOU — M. Retzlaff 10 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — Marshall 4 pass from Dodge (Bibbee pass from Kammel)
SOU — FG Rosas 20
EOU — Esekielu 1 run (kick failed)
SOU — M. Retzlaff 1 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — Rucker 30 interception return (Rosas kick)
SOU — Needles 8 pass from Kammel (Rosas kick)
First Downs 32 21
Rushes-Yards 37-238 43-284
Passing Yards 382 146
Comp-Att-Int 32-45-1 22-33-1
Total Yards 620 430
Punts 2-43 6-30
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 6-52 8-86
Southern Oregon — Marshall 16-126, Tow 13-82, Mason 2-13, Kammel 1-7, Schaffer 2-7, Dodge 1-3, M. Retzlaff 1-1, Team 1-(-1).
Eastern Oregon — McGinnis-Park 14-123, Bostrom 7-95, Bartlow 9-33, Robie 5-21, Blackman 3-12, Esekielu 2-7, Billingsley 2-5, Blakely 1-(-12).
Southern Oregon — Dodge 29-42-1 355, Kammel 3-3-0 27.
Eastern Oregon — Bartlow 18-25-1 120, Blackman 3-7-0 16, Esekielu 1-1-0 10.
Southern Oregon — M. Retzlaff 10-141, R. Retzlaff 8-112, Scottow 7-79, Needles 3-27, Marshall 3-18, Rucker 1-5.
Eastern Oregon — Billingsley 7-71, Bostrom 4-21, Miller 4-10, Ortiz 3-9, Miles 1-16, Woody 1-14, McGinnis-Park 1-6, Berry 1-(-1).
SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WARNER PACIFIC 1 — At Ashland, for the second straight night Southern Oregon gave away the first frame by a score of 26-24 at Bob Riehm Arena. But they recovered in gracefully dominant fashion this time around, sinking Warner Pacific 25-22, 25-19, 25-8 thereafter in a Cascade Conference triumph.
Liz Madden delivered 14 kills to pace three attackers in double digits as the Raiders (6-6 overall, 3-2 CCC) salvaged a weekend split with the four-set win.
Four of those kills were put down when the Raiders took over the match by breaking a 17-all tie in the third frame with an 8-2 run.
"We needed to be challenged and to get over the hump," Raiders coach Josh Rohlfing said. "We responded this time and it was great for us to change that pattern of getting up on people and giving it back."
The Knights sunk to 1-5 in the CCC and 3-12 overall.
SOU made sure of that by hitting at a .311 clip, its best so far in conference play, behind a balanced attack. Tyana Andrews and Nikki keller registered 10 kills apiece, freshman Emma Gasman took advantage of her first start with nine kills on 17 attacks and Paulla Pinheiro threw in eight kills and 12 digs.
Lauren McGowne, SOU's blossoming freshman setter, set a new season high for the third straight match with 45 assists. She added six digs and four kills and set the Raiders up to commit just four attacking errors in the final two sets after having 12 in the first two.
Madden led the way there, getting in nine of her kills after the midway point and all of them on just 29 swings to hit .414. Despite all but two of the Raiders' matches ending in three sets up to this point, she's notched at least seven kills in 11 of 12.