Raiders tackle Lewis & Clark in search of win
Southern Oregon University sophomore tailback Griff Yates takes the ColumbiaFootball Association rushing lead into the Raiders' second game of the seasonon Saturday.
The Raiders will meet Lewis & Clark College at 1:30 p.m. at GriswoldStadium in Portland.
Southern Oregon opened the season with a 15-14 loss to Linfield. TheRaiders squandered a 14-3 second-half lead.
Yates rushed for 158 yards on 21 carries, including a 73-yard touchdownrun in the second half against Linfield.
He started the game at tailback because 1996 CFA rushing champion CaseyJackson of Southern Oregon will miss at least the first two games of theseason with a neck injury. Jackson is expected to rejoin the Raiders nextMonday.
Both Griff and Tommy Selden are very capable of playing tailback,says SOU coach Jeff Olson. Griff is a very strong and focused runner.He's got some shift in him and he's fast, but he's a north-and-south kindof runner, who runs very hard. But give him a crease, and he can go thedistance at any time.
Selden will play flanker and backup tailback against Lewis & Clark.
Olson says he was encouraged by the play of Southern Oregon's defense,particularly in the second half, against Linfield. Linfield finished with305 total yards to 306 for Southern Oregon. In 1996, Southern Oregon allowedan average of 412 total yards per game.
During the previous two seasons, Southern Oregon ranked last in the CFAin total defense.
Against Linfield, freshman cornerback Matt Brockamp of Silverton toppedthe Raiders' defensive statistics with 10 tackles, including one for a loss.
The next step for us is to have that expectation to win like Linfieldhas, says Olson. That comes with the experience of doing it.Hopefully, we will start doing that on Saturday.
The kids have had a good week of practice, and bounced back realwell from a tough loss, says Olson. That makes me think we aregoing to play well on Saturday.
Lewis & Clark dropped its season-opening game to the University ofRedlands, 33-25. Lewis & Clark totaled 423 yards, including 370 yardsof passing with three different quarterbacks (Travis Vlach, Drew Jordan,and Dan Degenhardt) and Redlands had 343.
Lewis & Clark threw the ball 58 times.
The Pioneers, coached by Chuck Solberg, have four former Southern OregonConference all-stars on their team. They are offensive tackle Travis Christianof North Medford High, defensive tackle Ben McKinley of South Medford, runningback Jesse Ortiz of Grants
Pass and linebacker Beau Lehnerz of Grants Pass.
SOU freshman quarterback Dan Walters of Jermome, Idaho, will start hissecond game at Lewis & Clark. Walters completed 12 of 26 passes for109 yards.
Dan Woodward, a freshman quarterback from Eagle Point High, will play,Olson says.