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Yates' 3 TDs lead SOU to victory over Menlo

ATHERTON -- When 1,000-yard rusher Casey Jackson suffered a season-endingneck injury in pre-season practice, the Southern Oregon University groundattack was dealt an apparent setback.

But Griff Yates has stepped into the spotlight and performed beyond expectations.

Yates scored three touchdowns and rushed for 183 yards as Southern Oregoncrushed Menlo College 44-20 Saturday at Conner Field.

Yates has rushed for over 100 yards in all three Raider games this season.The sophomore from Coquille has gained 535 yards on the ground in helpingthe Raiders to a 2-1 record.

Yates scored on touchdown runs of 26 and — yards in the first half againstMenlo, then added a 13-yard touchdown in the Raiders' 23-point third quarterthat all but guaranteed Menlo's third straight loss.

Behind Yates, the Raiders amassed 330 total yards, including 205 on theground, and yielded just 54 net yards to the Oak running game.

Griff is a work horse, Southern Oregon coach Jeff Olson said.

The Raiders led 21-7 at halftime, then opened the second half on RyanMorgan's electrifying 84-yard kickoff return.

And the Raiders didn't stop there.

After recovering a fumble at the Oaks' 13-yard-line on the first playfrom scrimmage after the kickoff return, Southern Oregon capitalized onits first play with Yates' third touchdown.

Another turnover on Menlo's next possession set up Tommy Seldon's 35-yardtouchdown reception from quarterback Matt Geske.

That touchdown completed a string of 34 unanswered points and gave theRaiders a 41-7 lead with 1:52 gone in the third quarter.

We played with a lot of confidence today, Olson said. Wepushed our guys to be relentless when we got the lead.

Southern Oregon benefitted from three pass interceptions and three fumblerecoveries in addition to excellent special teams play.

They have an excellent group of skill kids, said Olson, butwe controlled the line of scrimmage and didn't let them get their passinggame going.

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