Big second half lifts SOU over Lumberjacks
ARCATA, Calif. — Southern Oregon's defense came up big all night Saturday en route to a hard-fought 31-16 football victory over Humboldt State at the Redwood Bowl.
With the win, SOU evened its season record at 4-4 and set up the possibility of a winning season for coach Steve Helminiak in his second season. The Raiders host NCAA Division II Dixie State at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Raider Stadium.
Field goals provided the lone scoring in the first half for SOU and Humboldt State as the teams entered the break tied at 3-all.
Humboldt State scored first after Marlon Rosales fumbled on the first offensive play by the Raiders. The drive stalled and Lumberjacks kicker Nichola Nelson hit a 23-yard field goal.
Corey O'Neill got the Raiders even with a 28-yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3 just before halftime.
But the fireworks were just beginning.
Brandon Beatty started a second-half, 28-point explosion for the Raiders with a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown just a 11/2 minutes into the third quarter for a 10-3 SOU lead.
Humboldt State (2-7) answered with a 1-yard scoring run by Bobby Thomas to tie the game at 10-10, but it took the Raiders just 8 seconds to take the lead back when Darrell Hutsona took the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and a 17-10 SOU lead.
In the fourth quarter, SOU took control of the game when quarterback Bryan Lee-Lauduski led the Raiders on a pair of drives to seal the win. The first was an 81-yard, five-play drive capped by Kevin Holtzman's 8-yard touchdown reception from Lee-Lauduski.
Following a Lumberjack turnover, Lee-Lauduski came right back with an 18-yard TD pass to Tim Greenidge to give the Raiders their biggest lead of the game at 31-10 with 7:48 to play.
Humboldt State scored with 37 seconds remaining to make the final 31-16.
SOU amassed 317 yards of offense with a balanced attack (158 rushing, 159 passing).
Southern Oregon 0 3 14 14 —31
Humboldt State 3 0 7 6 —16
HSU — FG Nelson 23
SOU — FG O'Neill 28
SOU — Beatty 52 interception return (O'Neill kick)
HSU — Thomas 1 run (Nelson kick)
SOU — Hutsona 94 kickoff return (O'Neill kick)
SOU — Holtzman 8 pass from Lee-Lauduski (run failed)
SOU — Greenidge 18 pass from Lee-Lauduski (Price pass from Lee-Lauduski)
HSU — Thomas 4 run (kick failed)
First Downs 14 15
Rushes-Yards 38-158 35-98
Passing Yards 159 168
Comp-Att-Int 17-26-2 24-46-4
Total Yards 317 266
Fumbles-lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 10-92 5-69
Punts 6-38.0 7-41.0