Raiders suffer last-second loss to EOU in season finale
LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon marched from its own 10-yard line with 53 seconds left and put together a game-winning touchdown drive to top Southern Oregon 14-10 in the season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon at Community Stadium.
Kai Quinn’s 21-yard completion over the middle to Saige Wilkerson in the end zone was the final dagger with three seconds to spare. Quinn completed all five of his attempts on the drive for 79 yards and picked up 11 more on a scramble. The fifth-year senior finished 20-of-34 for 284 yards through the air.
The Mountaineers ended a six-game losing streak, splitting their season series with SOU. They finished 4-6 in the Frontier Conference and the Raiders went 3-7.
SOU freshman quarterback Blake Asciutto passed for 200 yards and had a 12-yard connection with Ben Graziani that made the score 7-0 a few seconds into the second quarter.
The Mountaineers didn’t score until Quinn’s eight-yard TD rush with 9:51 left in the third. Cesar Ruiz got the lead back for the Raiders a few minutes later with a 37-yard field goal.
SOU’s Bryce Goggin caught six passes for 66 yards and Christian Graney caught eight for 65. Hykeem Massey and Christian Quirarte rushed for 49 yards apiece.
Defensively, SOU linebacker Drew Schuler registered a game-high 12 tackles and Bryce Kasch had nine with three for losses. Kross Galago forced and recovered a fumble and Kehdon Fletcher collected an interception.
Thanks to a couple EOU penalties, the Raiders got one final chance from the Mountaineers’ 44-yard line but Asciutto’s heave was picked off by Brennen Hull in the end zone.
SOU 106, EMBRY-RIDDLE 74: At Klamath Falls, Jake Virga broke out and Southern Oregon broke into the win column with a drubbing of Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) in the Lithia-Oregon Tech Classic at Danny Miles Court.
Virga went 7-for-13 from 3-point range, establishing a new career-high for long-distance makes and scoring 21 points to lead six Raiders in double figures. They shot 55 percent as a team, including a 23-of-34 mark in the first half that had them up 60-31 at the break.
A few Raiders enjoyed especially efficient nights. Josh Meyer shot 5-of-7 for his 17 points, K’wan Carter was 6-of-7 off the bench for his 13, and Elijah Jackson scored all 10 of his points in the first half while converting his first four attempts.
Freshman post Joe Juhala added a career-high 14 points and six rebounds and Atmar Mundo knocked down three 3-pointers to score 10. Tez Allen filled up the box score with six points and team-highs of 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Of the Raiders’ 36 makes, 22 were assisted. They carved up Embry-Riddle’s zone defense with 30 points in the paint and 39 from beyond the arc. Tied 5-5 a couple minutes into the contest, they opened up the lead in a hurry with a 23-2 run.
SOU went to 1-3 after losing its first three games by nine points combined.
RCC 3, HIGHLINE 0: At Bellvue, Wash., Rogue Community College opened group play at the NWAC Championships with a straight-set win over Highline College 25-14, 25-17, 26-24.
RCC’s Amanda Klotz had 12 kills, while Catherine Rostel and Toni Stevens both added nine kills. Devin Ireland recorded 38 assists and four kills, and Jeanie Palsis and Kylie Anderson held down the back line with 20 combined digs.