One-two running punch powers Raiders, 35-28
ASHLAND -- Southern Oregon University's Griff Yates and Casey Jacksonare establishing themselves as the premier running back duo in the ColumbiaFootball Association.
The Raider tailback tandem both rushed for more than 100 yards and scoredtwo touchdowns each as Southern Oregon prevailed in a 35-28 homecoming shootoutover Simon Fraser at Raider Stadium Saturday.
The game didn't appear to be a high-scoring affair after the Raidersled 7-0 at halftime and 14-0 at the end of three quarters. But the teamscombined for seven touchdowns and 49 points in the final period.
We backed off a little bit, Southern Oregon coach Jeff Olsonsaid. If you let teams like that stay around, their confidence isgoing to grow. And that's exactly what happened today.
Fortunately the Raiders (4-3, 2-1 CFA) had the firepower with Jacksonand Yates to match the explosive passing of Simon Fraser quarterback TerryKleinsmith, who finished the game with 349 aerial yards and four scores.
Southern Oregon racked up 302 rushing yards while holding the Clansmen(2-6, 1-3 CFA) to 27.
We shut down their running game, said Olson. Our guyswere doing a great job up front. That's when they turned to the pass andhad some success at it. That's the second week in a row we've played anemotional roller-coaster game.
Last week Southern Oregon fell behind 21-0 to Willamette, tied the gameat 21, but eventually lost 41-27.
Yates, a sophomore from Coquille, rushed 19 times for 161 yards and Jackson,a junior from Seaside, added 138 yards on 20 attempts. Yates is leadingthe CFA in rushing this year, while Jackson was the conference's top runnerlast year.
It's nice to have those two on our side, said Olson. SimonFraser did a good job a times slowing them down. If you give those two achance, they're going to bust a couple and they did today.
Jackson scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown on a 35-yardscamper with 1:17 remaining to put SOU up 35-22.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Yates broke loose on a 65-yard touchdowngallop.
Kleinsmith connected with wide receiver Steve Hamer-Jackson for a 23-yardtouchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining to cut the margin to seven, butthe Clansmen missed the point-after and Southern Oregon's Dan Munoz recoveredthe ensuing onsides kick.
Junior quarterback Matt Geske started his second straight game for theRaiders and went 10-for-21 for 135 yards, including a 63-yard touchdownstrike to receiver Mike Long in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders, who can clinch at least a share of the CFA title with apair of victories in their two remaining games, host Humboldt State nextSaturday at — p.m. SOU needs one more win to ensure its first winning seasonsince 1991.