SOU routs Azusa Pacific, 64
AZUSA, Calif. - Tenth-ranked Southern Oregon took a business-like approach to Saturday night's game against fellow NAIA independent Azusa Pacific.
Wanting to send a message that the Raiders are indeed worthy of a playoff berth, SOU did so in convincing fashion Saturday in a 64-21 thrashing of the perennial NAIA power Cougars.
SOU (6-1) broke open a 7-all first-quarter deadlock by scoring 34 unanswered points to send Azusa to its most lopsided loss since 1966.
"This is a very big win for us on the national scope," said SOU coach Jeff Olson. "But we've discovered the past two years that just beating Azusa Pacific is not an automatic ticket to the playoffs. We still have a lot of work to do."
Although a playoff bid is certainly not automatic, the highest-ranked independent team is routinely rewarded with a spot in the playoffs. SOU and Azusa are the only teams vying for that honor.
"We're taking the course that we have to win out to go," said Olson. "That's our approach."
SOU sophomore tailback Dusty McGrorty equaled the school game scoring record for the second time over the past four games with five touchdowns and compiled his seventh career 100-yard rush effort with 170 yards on 26 carries.
"Our offensive line did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage," said Olson. "When you can run the ball, it allows you to throw."
Senior quarterback Travis Mari completed 17 of 22 passes for 228 yards and two TDs in less than three quarters of action.
"He's (Mari) found a home here," said Olson, about the transfer from Humboldt State. "Our guys rally around him. We look to our quarterback to lead us down the field. He's the guy pulling the trigger."
Spearheaded by an eight-tackle effort by linebacker Erube Magana, the Raider defense compiled a season-high six sacks and racked up three interceptions that each set up a touchdown drive.
"We responded well all night long," said Olson, "and our defense handed the ball to the offense in outstanding position several times."
The Raiders amassed 528 total yards, including 271 yards rushing. Leo Stoddard led the receiving corps with eight receptions for 97 yards, while Danny Negra had five catches for 82 and the two TDs.
Southern Oregon's 64-point explosion was the fourth-highest in school history and the biggest since a 66-0 win over Pacific in 1991.
SOU hosts another NAIA foe, Rocky Mountain, next Saturday at — p.m.
SOUTHERN OREGON 0, EVERGREEN STATE 0, OT - At Olympia, Wash., Emily Schifferling came up with 10 saves as the Raiders and Evergreen State played to a scoreless tie in 120 minutes of action.
SOU managed only five shots on goal, but each were scooped up by Evergreen's Nora Moloney.
The Raiders moved to 8-9-2 overall and 8-4-2 in Cascade Conference play.
CONCORDIA TIPS SOU- At Portland, Kristina Matchett had a match-high 27 kills for SOU but that wasn't enough as Concordia topped Southern Oregon, 30-20, 25-30, 33-31, 30-26.
Sabrina Garboden chipped in 52 assists and 20 digs for the Raiders, who also got 10 kills from Michele Dardis and 21 digs from April Lowe.