Dodge is NAIA player of the week for third time

ASHLAND — For the third time in his career, Southern Oregon University quarterback Austin Dodge was named the NAIA football offensive player of the week Monday by the national office.

The selection couldn't have been deliberated for too long, either, after what Dodge did to Montana Tech during Saturday's 59-32 win at Raider Stadium. The junior broke single-game SOU marks for touchdown passes (eight) and passing yards (559) while completing 39 of 57 attempts.

The previous records were already his. But he shared ownership of the TD mark, which was six, with current University of Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich.

Dodge's record-breaking numbers were both season highs in the NAIA. He took over the national lead in passing yards per game at 411.7, and his total of 29 touchdown tosses is six more than anyone else's.

Earlier Monday, Dodge was named the Frontier Conference offensive player of the week for the fifth time in his career.

He's the second Raider to receive national kudos in the last month after running back Melvin Mason was recognized for his 287-yard effort in a Sept. 14 overtime loss at Sacramento State.

Dodge, a product of Longview, Wash., has thrown 25 TD passes in his last four games and has the Raiders on a three-game winning streak that started after they began the year 0-3. SOU is third in the nation in scoring average (53.0 points) and second in total offense (595.8).

The Raiders also received votes in the NAIA top 25 poll this week for the first time since the preseason, coming in at 28th in the country. At 3-2 in conference play, they're one of four teams in the Frontier that are within one game of first-place Rocky Mountain College.

SOU has a bye this week before hosting Montana-State Northern at 1 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Dodge needs 13 more TD passes to match his SOU single-season record of 42 set in 2012 and has five regular season games left to get there.

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