DICKINSON, N.D. — It is possible that the hottest NAIA football team in the nation has a record of 2-3.
That's not exactly how the Southern Oregon University Raiders drew it up, but their argument got stronger Saturday afternoon with a 66-21 win at Dickinson State, giving them 195 points in the last three weeks and all the momentum in the world with three straight home games coming up.
The Raiders, who boosted their Frontier Conference record to 2-2, put up 42 points in the first half after hitting 41 in last week's win at Eastern Oregon. Junior quarterback Austin Dodge had the keys to the floodgates again, completing 32 of 39 passes for 460 yards and five touchdowns in the most efficient outing of his career.
Dodge, the Frontier's reigning offensive player of the week, helped sophomore receiver Jeremy Scottow to a career day with scoring connections of four and 16 yards in the game's first 20 minutes. The North Medford High product caught seven balls for 129 yards in all.
The Bluehawks (0-5 overall, 0-5 Frontier) totaled 17 passing yards and 172 total compared to SOU's 695 yards — the sixth-most in school history and the best mark of its season. Dodge's total of 460 was only the seventh-best SOU single-game mark, but he owns five of the six ahead of him.
Zach Marshall rushed accumulated 79 yards on 12 carries and got the Raiders going with a 1-yard TD run to cap an 82-yard drive to open the game. Freshman tailback Sean Tow had 59 yards and two scores on 14 carries in the follow-up his 82-yard performance at Eastern.
The Raiders took their biggest lead at 59-7 in the third quarter when Dodge hit Dylan Young from 34 yards out.
Nine SOU players had at least one reception. Matt Retlaff (80 yards) and Ryan Retzlaff (76) had six apiece while Young (76) and Marshall (66) both had five. Ryan Retzlaff's 21-yard TD catch was his fourth in the last three games.
Southern Oregon was just as dominant on the other side of the ball, as the defense got to Dickinson quarterback Kaler Ray for five sacks, held the Bluehawks' run-heavy attack to 3.2 yards per carry and forced them into 10 punts.
Senior linebacker Laurence Calcagno had nine tackles while Mylz Blake and Trevor Kuyper had six each. Kuyper, a senior, also sacked Ray twice and Michael Bibbee was credited with 11/2 sacks.
Jesse Carney led the Bluehawks with 17 rushes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Dylan Carlson had the other score for SOU's ground game, which produced an average of 5.1 yards on 40 carries.
SOU will make its season debut at Raider Stadium next Saturday in a key clash against 21st-ranked Montanta Tech, which shared the Frontier title with the Raiders last year but dipped to 1-3 on Saturday with a 13-6 loss at 18th-ranked Rocky Mountain.
Every team in the Frontier has a least one loss in conference play now after Eastern Oregon scored 21 points in the fourth quarter Saturday to notch a monumental upset over third-ranked Carroll College, 35-31. The Raiders also have a game left against everyone ahead of them in the standings except Rocky.
Southern Oregon 66, Dickinson State 21
At Biesiot Activities Center
Southern Oregon 14 28 17 7 —66
Dickinson State 7 0 7 7 —21
SOU — Marshall 1 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — Scottow 4 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
DSU — Mirich 22 run (Borm kick)
SOU — Scottow 16 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — Tow 10 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — R. Retzlaff 21 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — Carlson 2 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — FG Rosas 30
SOU — Scottow 30 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
SOU — Young 34 pass from Dodge (Rosas kick)
DSU — Carney 44 run (Borm kick)
SOU — Tow 4 run (Rosas kick)
SOU — Carney 1 run (Rosas kick)
First Downs 39 11
Rushes-Yards 40-209 49-218
Passing Yards 492 17
Comp-Att-Int 36-50-1 5-17-1
Total Yards 695 172
Punts 3-34 10-39.8
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-2
Penalties-yards 5-47 3-39
Southern Oregon — Marshall 12-79, Tow 14-59, Kammel 5-28, Carlson 3-20, Schaffer 1-9, Dodge 1-7, M. Retzlaff 1-1, Drisdom 1-0, Team 2-0.
Dickinson State — Carney 17-92, Moore 14-54, Mirich 1-22, Hardy 2-3, Sandau 3-1, Team 1-0, Ray 10-(-7), Lane 1-(-10).
Southern Oregon — Dodge 32-39-0 460, Kammel 4-11-1 32 .
Dickinson State — Ray 5-15-0 17, Lane 0-2-1 0.
Southern Oregon — Scottow 7-129, M. Retzlaff 6-80, R. Retzlaff 6-80, Young 5-76, Marshall 5-66, Drisdom 3-29, Schaffer 1-18, Tow 2-14, Needles 1-0.
Dickinson State — Borm 1-11, Keith 3-6, Carney 1-0.
EASTERN OREGON 3, SOUTHERN OREGON 2 — At La Grande, on the brink of its second stunner in two nights, Southern Oregon fell short against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon.
The Raiders (7-7 overall, 4-3 conference) took a 2-1 set lead before the Mountaineers (17-2, 7-0) pulled off the 16-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 15-13 comeback to stay on top of the Cascade Conference standings.
EOU, which is vying for its first-ever CCC titles, has won 11 straight matches and had won 30 of its last 32 sets coming into the night.
SOU — playing its second five-set match in as many nights after Friday's win at College of Idaho — trailed 13-7 before reeling off six of seven points to close the gap. After Mona Goudarzian's kill pulled the Raiders within one, though, Katie Keeney shut the door with a kill of her own.
Goudarzian finished with a career-high 23 kills to lead the Raiders.
SOUTHERN OREGON 3, OREGON TECH 0 — At Ashland, Southern Oregon wrapped up its preseason on a positive note, locking down Oregon Tech for its third straight shutout and fifth of the year at University Field.
Chloe Welch and Serena DeChristofaro tallied goals in the first half and Sydney Paulsen knocked in her fifth of the season in the second for the Raiders, who improved to 4-2-2 overall. The Owls fell to 3-4-1.
The Raiders will take their three-match unbeaten streak into the Cascade Conference opener at home Thursday against Northwest Christian.
STANFORD INVITATIONAL — At Palo Alto, Calif., Eric Avila and Summer Cano gave the Southern Oregon University cross country teams just the boost the Raiders expected Saturday morning at the 40th annual Stanford Invitational.
Competing for the first time this season and against the best competition they'll see, Avila placed seventh to pace the second-ranked Raider men and Cano was 18th for the 25th-ranked Raider women. The SOU men scored fourth out of 15 non-NCAA Division I schools and the women were fourth of 11.
Thirty-three schools were represented in all, making for 243 entrants in the men's race and 222 in the women's.