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Raider gridders squeeze by MSU-Northern

HAVRE, Mont. ' A little down in the mouth in recent weeks, Southern Oregon tailback Jacobe Krizman finally had something to smile about Saturday afternoon.

The highly touted running back out of Hood River hadn't seen a single snap for the Raiders until Saturday, but made the most of his first opportunity in helping lead SOU to a 10-7, come-from-behind victory at Montana State-Northern.

Krizman, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound redshirt freshman, took a screen pass from senior quarterback Brandon Griffith 21 yards to the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning play with 10:39 remaining.

He had a lot of recognition coming out of high school two years ago but Jacobe has come along slowly, said SOU head coach Jeff Olson. He's been down and just a couple weeks ago talked to me and said he was just looking for a chance.

When he got his chance (Saturday), he took advantage of it.

— Krizman, who broke all-time Oregon prep records by rushing for 2,844 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior at Hood River Valley High in 2002, finished with 14 carries for 39 yards in addition to his touchdown reception. Olson said Krizman also had one long run called back due to a Raider penalty.

Getting a redshirt freshman running back to come through like that, and for us to come back in the fourth quarter like we did, that was really nice to see, said the head coach.

Just breaking through for a win was enough cause for celebration for a Raider team still trying to develop an identity.

We'll take a win, I don't care who it's against, said Olson. We came back and won a game and that's something we haven't done lately.

My hats are off to our kids. They found a way, finally, to get one in the fourth quarter.

After having advantageous field position for most of the first half, the Raiders (3-3) broke a scoreless deadlock with a 27-yard Ryan Baker field goal shortly before halftime, but the winless Lights (0-6) stayed close by snuffing nine of 11 SOU penetrations into MSUN territory.

SOU finished with a 371-241 edge in total offense and controlled the ball for a season-high 38 minutes.

It's kind of a sign of how this year's gone, said Olson. We almost doubled them in total yards but we just didn't finish off drives.

The Montana team missed 35- and 28-yard field goals and failed to convert a 4th-and-goal from the Raider — late in the third quarter, but MSUN staked a 7-3 lead when sophomore Kyle Samson scored from 49 yards out on a quarterback keeper with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Raider defense held the Lights to only 15 yards of offense in the final period.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Boomer Marshall compiled a 19-for-38, 210-yard stat line in his first collegiate start before making way for Griffith, who went 7-for-11 for 99 yards in the final period.

He threw the ball very well today, he really did, Olson said of Marshall, but we don't think either he or (Griffith) have clearly won the job and wanted to give each of them some time (Saturday).

Sophomore receiver Mike Olson of Medford hauled in eight passes for 84 yards.

Keyed by a career-best 14 tackles by junior linebacker Chad Harrell, and 11 from senior linebacker David Zauher, the Raider defense allowed only 93 passing yards.

They gave up the one big play, Olson said of his defense. Otherwise, we shut them down.

SOU caps a three-game October road slate next Saturday at NCAA Div. III second-ranked Linfield College in McMinnville.