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SOU up to No. 2 in NAIA Top 25

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Southern Oregon University football team is back up in the NAIA Top 25 as of Monday afternoon, climbing to No. 2 to match the highest regular-season ranking in school history.

The Raiders were tied at No. 4 in the poll when they hit up Montana State-Northern for a school-record point total Saturday in an 82-9 drubbing at Raider Stadium. The win was their third straight and made them 3-1 in the Frontier Conference and overall.

They had the No. 1 spot in last year's postseason poll through the 2015 preseason, but lost it following a 26-20 season-opening loss at Carroll. Paving the way for them to move up was former No. 1 Morningside (Iowa)'s 33-30 loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater, the two-time NCAA Div. III defending champion, and former No. 3 Baker (Kan.)'s 35-31 loss at Benedictine (Kan.).

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), which is one of eight undefeated teams left at 3-0, moved up one spot to claim its first-ever No. 1 ranking. The Blue Raiders received 12 first-place votes, while SOU, No. 3 Faulkner (Ala.) and No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) got one apiece.

The only other time SOU has been second was in the Sept. 17, 2002 poll. A double-overtime loss at Linfield dropped the Raiders to No. 9 the next week and they didn't get higher than fifth the rest of the season.

Three other Frontier teams appear in this week's poll: No. 6 Carroll, No. 17 Montana Western and No. 18 Montana Tech. Rocky Mountain is receiving votes.

SOU, along with the rest of the Frontier, has its only bye of the season this week and will be back in action Oct. 10 at Montana Western. The Raiders return home Oct. 17 against Carroll.