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SOU's Baldwin among 11 Raiders tabbed for all-independent team

ASHLAND — Sophomore Brandon Baldwin led a group of 11 Southern Oregon football players named to the NAIA's all-independent team.

Baldwin was named the all-independent offensive player of the year and joined offensive linemen Trent Henson and Buddy Tuamasaga, defensive lineman Sunni Ali and defensive back Damilyn Tanner on the first team.

Fullback Brent Koontz, offensive lineman Jordan Myers, defensive lineman Will Watson, defensive back Thomas Sandoval, kicker Tyler Crowley and returner Vance Beach were named to the second team.

Baldwin burst on the scene for the Raiders in 2009. The transfer from Shasta College rushed 272 times for 1,191 yards and six touchdowns. The sophomore ranked third in the NAIA in rushing yards per game at 132.3 and also caught seven passes for 74 yards.

The blocking of Henson, Tuamasaga, Koontz and Myers all played a big role in Baldwin's success.

Ali finished second on the squad in tackles-for-loss with eight and also finished third on the team in tackles with 46. Tanner finished fourth on the squad with 44 tackles but led the team with three interceptions.

Watson turned in an impressive senior season, leading the team with 10 tackles-for-loss and also 3.5 sacks. His 42 tackles ranked fifth on the team. Sandoval led the Raiders in tackles with 56, including a team-best 34 solo stops.

Crowley made nine of 15 field goals for the Raiders, including a perfect 6-for-6 from less than 30 yards.

SOU went 2-7 in 2009.