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Linfield rally spoils breakout game by Raiders

McMINNVILLE ' The Southern Oregon University football team posted its best offensive numbers of the season, but the Raiders weren't able to keep up with NCAA Div. III second-ranked Linfield College in a 56-34 loss at Maxwell Field on Saturday.

We battled hard, said SOU head coach Jeff Olson. The way we went after it told me a lot about this team today. Our kids came to battle and played very, very well.

The Raiders (3-4) and Wildcats (5-0) combined for the fifth-highest combined scoring total in SOU history and the second-highest offensive yardage output (1,099) in the history of both programs.

SOU silenced the standing-room-only Wildcat homecoming crowd by staking a 24-12 lead midway through the second quarter after the third Brandon Griffith-to-Bobby Poeltl scoring connection.

We came out fast and scored early and gained a lot of confidence, said Olson. We came out of this thing, I gotta believe, with a lot of confidence that we can move the football and put points on the board.

— Linfield, however, took the lead for good at 25-24 by scoring twice within five minutes leading up to halftime.

The Wildcats, who won their 29th straight regular-season game and extended the school's collegiate-record winning season streak to 49, continued the momentum early in the third period with Tyson Baker's key 5-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown that ignited a 31-point second half.

The highest final margin by an SOU opponent since 1996 overshadowed career-best efforts by Poeltl (9 catches, 166 yards, three touchdowns), Griffith (21-for-37, 311 yards, four touchdowns) and redshirt-freshman tailback Jacobe Krizman (20 carries, 103 yards).

Linfield, which entered the fray as the top-rated offense in NCAA Div. III, received a mammoth 460-yard, four-touchdown effort by junior transfer quarterback and national passing leader Brett Elliott, along with twin 100-yard efforts by receivers Casey Allen (9-123) and Brandon Hazenberg (8-128).

They've got an outstanding offense, Olson said of the Wildcats. They're a machine on that side of the ball.

Junior linebacker Chad Harrell led Raider defenders with 13 tackles, while senior rover Toby Walker compiled a career-high 12 stops. Senior safety Mike O'Brien and sophomore corner Madison Caeser each picked off an Elliott pass.

SOU begins a season-ending, two-game homestand next Saturday with the school's 67th-annual homecoming event against Willamette University.

At Maxwell Field

Southern Oregon141037 ' 34

Linfield6191417 ' 56

L ' Jenkins — run (kick failed)

SO ' Poeltl 5 pass from Griffith (Baker kick)

SO ' Poeltl 17 pass from Griffith (Baker kick)

L ' Hazenberg 32 pass from Elliott (run failed)

SO ' Poeltl 4 pass from Griffith (Baker kick)

SO ' FG Baker 23

L ' Hazenberg 29 pass from Elliott (Wales kick)

L ' Jenkins 12 pass from Elliott (pass failed)

L ' Banker 5 blocked punt return (Wales kick)

L ' Jenkins — run (Wales kick)

SO ' FG Baker 33

L ' McKechnie 13 pass from Elliott (Wales kick)

L ' Lasswell — run (Wales kick)

SO ' Stout 2 pass from Griffith (Baker kick)

L ' FG Wales 46

TEAM STATISTICS

SOULin

First Downs2230

Rushes-yards35-15437-150

Passing yards332463

Comp-Att-Int23-41-133-54-2

Total yards486613

Punts6-32.32-45.0

Fumbles-lost2-11-1

Penalties-yards4-219-79

INdivIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING

Southern Oregon

' Krizman 20-103, Jolin 5-46, Karley 2-5, Despotakis 1-1, Stout 1-0, Griffith 6-(-1).

Linfield

' Jenkins 23-94, Lasswell 6-26, Kotler 3-17, Hazenberg 1-7, Cruickshank 2-6, Elliott 1-1, Team 1-(-1).

PASSING

Southern Oregon

' Griffith 21-37-0 311, Despotakis 2-4-1 21.

Linfield

' Elliott 32-53-2 460, Scharer 1-1-0 3.

RECEIVING

Southern Oregon

' Poeltl 9-166, Olson 3-37, Krizman 3-14, Hill 2-45, Dice 2-37, Holtzman 2-21, Conrad 1-10, Stout 1-2.

Linfield

' Allen 9-123, Hazenberg 8-128, Carter 6-97, McKechnie 4-87, Jenkins 4-20, Carpenter 1-5, Masters 1-3.

Women's Soccer

SOUTHERN OREGON 3, OREGON TECH 2 ' At Klamath Falls, the Southern Oregon University women's soccer team took a huge step toward clinching the school's fifth straight Cascade Conference playoff berth by nipping Oregon Tech 3-2 Saturday.

The Raiders (5-8-1, 5-5) snapped a two-game slide by defeating the Owls (8-6-1, 3-6-1) for the fourth consecutive meeting over the past two seasons, and moved ahead of third-place Warner Pacific for the second divisional playoff spot.

Forty seconds after Owl forward Lindsey Selle knotted the score at 2-all, senior midfielder Jeannelle Thompson re-directed a Lisa Howard pass into the Tech goal for the game-winner with 1:17 remaining.

Thompson staked SOU to a 2-1 edge in the 63rd minute, and freshman midfielder Kara Bradach opened the scoring at 27:32 en route to a 1-1 halftime deadlock.

SOU finished with a 21-8 edge in shots taken, including a game-high four each by Bradach and freshman midfielder Kristin Mazzei.

Freshman forward Stephani Catt assisted SOU's first goal.

The Raiders cap a seven-game stretch away from Ashland Oct. 19 at Western Oregon prior to wrapping up conference play against Warner Pacific and Cascade on Oct. 22-23.

Cross Country

RAIDER HARRIERS CLOSE GAP ON EASTERN ' At Portland, Sean Peterson placed eighth in 25:47 over the 8,000-meter course to lead the Southern Oregon men's cross country team to a second-place finish at the NAIA Region I Preview Meet at Lents Park.

Ryan Pfeil and Trevor Palmer finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

Fifth-ranked Eastern Oregon won the meet with 51 points, but the Raiders were only 10 points back.

On the women's side, All-American Brynn Cogdill placed 13th in 19:13 and freshman Kindra Buys was 19th as SOU placed sixth.