SOU pummels Lumberjacks
Playing in front of their crowd for the last time, Raiders get some revenge against Humboldt State
ASHLAND ' The fact that Southern Oregon started out strong was of no surprise Saturday night at Raider Stadium.
The Raiders have built a lead in all their games this season, only to see those leads crumble away like a cupcake in a 2-year-old's hands.
But playing in front of their home crowd for the final time this season, the resilient Raiders (2-4) weren't about to add another notch to their fall of discontent.
— Southern Oregon stormed to a 16-0, first-quarter lead and then kept the heat on Humboldt State for three more quarters to score a 40-21 homecoming victory.
This was a gut check for all of us in how we prepared and how we played, said eighth-year SOU head coach Jeff Olson. We've come out fast all year but what we haven't done is finish it, and we did tonight against a good team.
Adding fuel to the fire was that the same group of Lumberjacks (3-3), minus injured starting quarterback Chris Dixon, pummeled the Raiders 31-10 four weeks ago.
Dixon's replacement Jason Baughman completed 40 of 64 passes for 468 yards and two touchdowns, but wasn't nearly as dominant ' if that's possible ' as those numbers indicate. Baughman was sacked twice and hurried into three interceptions, two by Sedric Ashley.
Even when he did get his passes off, Baughman was leveled more than a house under construction.
We knew we needed the win and we had the capabilities of doing it, said SOU senior defensive lineman Garret Gelker. Everything clicked tonight and we played to our potential.
That potential seemed to be a long time coming for the Raider faithful, but a pleasant sight to see nonetheless.
This is the greatest feeling in the world to look up at that scoreboard, said SOU senior tailback Dusty McGrorty, who rushed for a career-high 257 yards and four touchdowns. We pretty much buried them and our whole team came together great. That's the best we've played all season.
McGrorty sparked the festivities on the third play from scrimmage, patiently waiting for a hole to open on the left side before bursting through for a 59-yard touchdown romp.
After pinning the Lumberjacks deep in their own territory, SOU's defense bowed its back and came up with a safety as Floyd Watson tackled Humboldt tailback Corey Smith in the end zone for a 9-0 lead.
Following a Lumberjack punt, SOU senior quarterback Dan Woodward connected with Andrae Thurman for a 51-yard gain to put the Raiders deep in Humboldt territory again. Thurman finished with nine catches for 144 yards.
Three more McGrorty runs, the last a 6-yarder to pay dirt, helped SOU take a 16-0 lead with 10:17 still to go in the first quarter.
The Raiders answered a 5-yard score by Humboldt's Adrian Waddy with an 18-yard field goal by Steve Baker in the second quarter to make it 19-7 at halftime.
McGrorty tacked on a 39-yard scoring run in the third quarter, then put his final stamp on the game moments later following a 56-yard Lumberjack scoring connection from Baughman to Chris White.
With the Raiders pinned back at their own 4-yard line and holding a precarious 26-14 lead, McGrorty took a simple handoff up the middle, shot through the line like a rocket and didn't touch back down until 96 yards later as he raced untouched to the end zone.
I've got to thank my offensive line and my fullback for that, said McGrorty, who easily secured his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. They did a fantastic job all night for me.
Ashley returned an interception 63 yards for a score in the fourth quarter to put SOU ahead 40-14, and Baughman took advantage of some mop-up time for the Raider defenders to pad his stats, throwing for 188 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
But Baughman's final numbers were of no concern to the Raiders, only the final ones put up on the scoreboard.
We're just looking for those wins again, said Gelker. Playoffs, unfortunately aren't in our future, but pride and integrity and school tradition is, so we're shooting for that.
Count Saturday night as a direct hit.
At Raider Stadium
SOU ' McGrorty 59 run (Baker kick)
SOU ' Safety, Watson tackles Smith in end zone
SOU ' McGrorty 6 run (Baker kick)
HSU ' Waddy 5 run (Castellon kick)
SOU ' FG Baker 18
SOU ' McGrorty 39 run (Baker kick)
HSU ' White 56 pass from Baughman (Castellon kick)
SOU ' McGrorty 96 run (Baker kick)
SOU ' Ashley 63 interception return (Baker kick)
HSU ' Adkins 56 pass from Baughman (Castellon kick)
' Adrian Waddy 8-29, Corey Smith 7-18, Jason Baughman 6-(minus 17).
' Dusty McGrorty 22-257, Curt Stout 9-18, Dan Woodard 1-10.
' Jason Baughman 40-64-3 468.
' Dan Woodward 13-27-2 195, Justin Despotakis 1-3-1 5.
' Chris White 11-161, Brent Adkins 10-120, Dustin Creager 5-47, Brandon Wetsel 5-39, Corey Smith 3-32, C. Bloomquist 3-29, Sean Quincey 2-29, Adrian Waddy 1-11.
' Andrae Thurman 9-144, Curt Stout 1-20, Mike Robinson 1-14, Carl Dice 1-10, Bobby Poeltl 1-7, Heykel Aouriri 1-5.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail