A big comeback, but no joy in Salem for SOU
The Southern Oregon University football team staged a dramatic comeback only to come up short in a 34-28 double-overtime setback at Willamette University in rainy Salem on Saturday night.
The Raiders rallied from a 21-7, fourth-quarter hole and forced overtime with a clutch fourth-and-15 touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Boomer Marshall to junior receiver Mike Olson with two minutes left in regulation, but SOU fell to 0-5 this season when the NCAA Div. III Bearcats (3-3) wiggled out of a jam in overtime.
SOU managed a 28-21 edge on a 24-yard Marshall-to-Olson connection two plays into the Kansas-plan OT session, and the Raider defense pushed Willamette into a third-and-15 situation from the 30.
But that's when the momentum turned against the snake-bitten Raiders ' again.
Bearcat receiver Michael Plank hauled in a 16-yard pass for a crucial first down, and the fleet-footed wideout followed it up shortly thereafter with a 7-yard score.
— Willamette fly back Ryan Hernandez scampered 22 yards for a touchdown in the second overtime that became the game-winner when the Bearcats stopped SOU tailback Jacobe Krizman for no gain on a fourth-and-two rush attempt from the 17.
SOU's eighth consecutive loss overshadowed eye-popping individual performances in a season-best effort for scoring and total offense.
Marshall, a former South Medford all-state standout who entered the game in place of injured starter Dan Downey midway through the first quarter, finished with the most passing yards in a game by a Raider signal caller since 1994 ' 343 ' on a 20-for-38, three-touchdown, two-interception stat line.
We're playing hard and giving it all we have and that's all I can ask for, Raider interim head coach Shay McClure said. Boomer stepped in and played a heck of a game. He made the right checks and made clutch plays.
Junior transfer receiver Gabe Hatchett hauled in seven balls for 145 yards, including a 17-yard first-quarter scoring play that knotted the score 7-all.
Winners of three straight, Willamette jumped to a 7-0 edge when Wesley Randall blocked a Steve Palmer punt attempt that was picked up and returned 35 yards for a touchdown by CJ Washington, and placekicker Matt Bicocca's 37-yard field goal staked Willamette to a 10-7 halftime edge.
The Bearcats zoomed to the seemingly comfortable 21-7 cushion on a 35-yard Bicocca field goal on the opening drive of the second half followed by the first of two Plank TD grabs and a successful two-point conversion run late in the third quarter.
Krizman, who finished with 45 yards on 21 carries, started the Raider comeback bid by scoring from a yard out two plays into the final stanza, and SOU was likely down to its final scoring try when Olson snared Marshall's last-ditch, game-tying pass play.
Olson, a North Medford all-star product, finished with 66 yards on four catches for SOU, which finished with 409 offensive yards.
Willamette amassed 397 yards, but its vaunted rush-oriented Fly offense was held in check for much of the evening and produced only 194 yards.
The Bearcats also had their backup quarterback step up due to an injury to starter Cameron Walton. Sophomore Michael Whipps stepped up with an 11-for-23, 188-yard, two-touchdown effort.
Plank accounted for 168 of the yards on nine grabs.
Now 1-4 all-time in overtime games, SOU has lost four straight frays in which it held a lead or battled back from a 14-point second-half deficit.
The Raiders hope to reverse fortunes at home next Saturday night against defending NCAA Div. III champion and top-ranked Linfield College (4-0). Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Raider Stadium.
SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WARNER PACIFIC — ' At Portland, the Southern Oregon University volleyball team notched its 10th consecutive victory, but the Raiders had to battle through adversity to register a 30-21, 30-24, 30-32, 30-26 Cascade Conference triumph at Warner Pacific College.
The first-place and 11th-ranked Raiders (18-3, 10-1 CC) won their 12th straight over the feisty Knights (2-16, 1-11), but Raider sophomore back-up setter Marcy Oakland, who started in place of senior all-star Jamie McCreary, suffered an eye injury in the middle of Game 3.
Oakland was unable to continue after being struck by an errant pass, and sophomore defender Whitney Riehl directed the Raider offense for several minutes while McCreary, sidelined and in street clothes suffering from the flu, hastily donned her uniform.
The Knights rallied from a 20-15 deficit to win the frame and led 15-9 in Game 4, but McCreary posted 21 assists to help SOU seal the outcome.
The setting drama partially overshadowed two more strong offensive performances by senior all-star middle Nicholette Le Bel and sophomore hitter Jaclyn Hamilton-Smith, who each tallied 15 kills.
Le Bel had a season-best six blocks, and senior libero Kristen Lilly racked up 28 digs.
SOU coach Paul Elliott said Oakland was taken to the hospital after the match for precautionary reasons, and her playing status is uncertain.
SOUTHERN OREGON 0, EVERGREEN STATE 0 ' At Ashland, it's rare for both teams to be completely satisfied with a final outcome, but such was the case after an exhausting, physical double-overtime scoreless draw between Cascade Conference inter-divisional women's soccer rivals Southern Oregon University and The Evergreen State College.
The Raiders (5-7-1, 3-4-1 CC) registered a key standings point in their quest for a south division title, while the Geoducks (9-0-3, 6-0-2 CC) played the final 24 minutes short-handed but remained unbeaten this season.
After each team had numerous strong shot attempts in both halves, SOU was unable to take control after Geoduck freshman April MacKay was disqualified with 3:38 remaining in regulation as a result of incurring a second yellow card.
Evergreen junior goalie Carly Stewart withstood a 20-shot Raider barrage and watched SOU's two best chances for a golden goal ' top-of-box laser beams by senior all-star forward Lisa Howard and freshman defender Katy Valdez in the first 10-minute overtime session ' whistle over the crossbar.
Sophomore all-star Kara Bradach hit the Clam crossbar in the 21st minute, and Stewart redirected a well-paced 15-yard Valdez boot over the goal in the 63rd frame.
SOU sophomore keeper Melanie Hopkins also had moments of terror in the first half. She poked Evergreen all-star forward Alisha White's close-range blast over the top in the 32nd minute, and junior forward Lisa Leadon hit the right post seconds later.
Hopkins finished with eight saves to register her fifth career shutout.