Road to Daytona
Carroll 26, Southern Oregon 20
Ranked No. 1 to start the season, the Raiders’ title defense got off to a rocky start when a fourth-down pass by then starting quarterback Kamerun Smith was dropped in the end zone late, allowing the then-fourth-ranked Saints to survive in Helena, Mont.
The game featured a 95-yard kickoff return by Matt Retzlaff and a 40-yard touchdown run by Melvin Mason, but not much else for SOU. The Raiders were held to a field goal in the second half and flamed out after driving to the Saints’ 30-yard line with 40 seconds to go.
Southern Oregon 38, Eastern Oregon 35
If one game can define a season, this was it (so far) for Southern Oregon. Down 35-14 late in the third quarter, backup quarterback Tanner Trosin led the Raiders to their biggest comeback since 1998 in a memorable home opener at Raider Stadium.
The wild rally began with Trosin’s 10-yard touchdown run with nine seconds left in the third quarter and ended with Marcus Montano’s 27-yard field goal with four seconds left. When the dust settled, Trosin had completed 17 of 20 passes for 173 yards and ran 14 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns, solidifying himself as SOU’s new starting quarterback.
Southern Oregon 42, College of Idaho 27
Retzlaff uncorked the longest punt return touchdown in Southern Oregon history (91 yards) and Louis Macklin had 112 of SOU’s 340 rushing yards as the Raiders scored the last 20 points of the second quarter to turn a 14-7 deficit into a 27-14 halftime lead and cruised from there in Caldwell, Idaho.
Trosin was awarded his first start and responded by completing 13 of 22 passes for 167 yards and also ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, and Raider safety Julius Rucker had a forced fumble and an interception.
Southern Oregon 82, Montana State-Northern 9
The Raiders led 41-0 after the first quarter and 62-0 at halftime in what turned out to be the greatest scoring outburst in team history. Trosin and Smith combined to throw seven touchdown passes, Mason ran for 110 yards and junior defensive lineman Aaron Downes had a 64-yard interception return.
Southern Oregon 37, Montana-Western 30, OT
The Raiders survived the Bulldogs’ upset bid in the much-hyped early-season showdown in Dillon, Mont., when Sean Tow scored on an 8-yard rush in overtime and the SOU defense stuffed Montana-Western at the goal line on four consecutive plays.
The Raiders led most of the way, but the Bulldogs forced OT when Dylan Kramer rushed in from the 3 with 1:24 to go in regulation. Trosin passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 60, Adonis Griffin had six catches for 138 yards and cornerback Karrington Jones had two interceptions.
Southern Oregon 28, Carroll 27, OT
The Raiders won their second overtime game in as many weeks when Carroll quarterback Mac Roche’s two-point conversion pass was knocked down by Jones on the last play of the game in front of a packed house at Raider Stadium. The Saints, ranked 11th at the time, squandered two golden opportunities to take the lead or win with short field goals late in the fourth quarter — the first, an 18-yard attempt, hit the right upright with 3:41 to go, and the second, a 28-yard attempt, never got off the ground after a bad snap.
Griffin had eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown against the Saints, who lost three of their last four games to finish 4-6.
Southern Oregon 63, College of Idaho 21
The Raiders jumped out to a 28-0 lead on Teran Togia’s second touchdown catch of the first half and rolled to their sixth straight win behind another balanced performance by the offense.
Three Raiders, including senior receiver Jeremy Scottow, threw touchdown passes, Togia had five catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns and Rucker returned a fumble 94 yards for a touchdown.
Southern Oregon 56, Rocky Mountain 10
Days after reclaiming the top spot in the NAIA top 25 coaches’ poll, the Raiders kept their winning streak alive and set up a monster showdown with Montana Tech. Keegan Lawrence rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns and was one of three Raiders — along with Trosin, Macklin and Mason — to gain 70 yards or more on the ground.
The SOU defense also continued its big-play ways, recording 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Montana Tech 21, Southern Oregon 17
The Orediggers continued their resurgence from a 1-9 2014 campaign with their biggest win yet, essentially clinching the Frontier Conference in front of 3,620 fans at Raider Stadium when Gunnar Kayser laid out to pick off Trosin’s pass with 1:13 to go.
Trosin passed for 209 yards and rushed for 62, but the Raiders couldn’t overcome Montana Tech’s 352-yard ground pound. The Orediggers secured the Frontier Conference’s automatic bid to the NAIA Football Championship Series and won their first-round playoff game before suffering a 42-20 loss to Saint Francis in the quarterfinals.
Southern Oregon 48, Eastern Oregon 37
The Raiders built a 31-10 halftime lead and pulled away to avoid sliding further in the national polls in a win that helped then-10th-ranked SOU land a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Mason rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns, Trosin accounted for 298 yards (215 passing) and Jaylenn Hart returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown.
NAIA FCS First Round
No. 7 Southern Oregon 52, No. 10 Kansas Wesleyan 8
The seventh-ranked Raiders started their playoff run with possibly their most complete all-around performance of the season, racking up 691 yards of total offense and holding the 10th-ranked Coyotes scoreless until the fourth quarter in the final game of the season at Raider Stadium.
Trosin was electric in his first SOU playoff game, passing for 365 yards and three scores and rushing for 90 yards and one TD. Macklin led the Raiders with 130 yards rushing, including a 71-yard burst, and Scottow had five catches for 103 yards. The SOU defense racked up 6.5 sacks and another interception by Jones.
NAIA FCS Quarterfinals
No. 7 Southern Oregon 24, No. 2 Baker 19
Trosin’s sensational 60-yard touchdown pass to Retzlaff following a ducking escape out of the pocket gave the Raiders a 21-10 lead in the third quarter and their defense stepped up to secure another playoff win on the road — their third in a row.
Mason ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns, Retzlaff had five catches for 100 yards and Trosin passed for 261, and the Raiders survived his two interceptions after the SOU defense forced Baker to punt on four of its last six drives in the freezing rain.
NAIA FCS Semifinals
No. 7 Southern Oregon 30, No. 1 Morningside 27
Trosin’s 5-yard keeper on fourth-and-4 with 1:20 on the clock capped an epic 93-yard drive and proved to be the game-winner after redshirt freshman cornerback AJ Cooper blocked Morningside’s game-tying field goal as time expired.
Trosin passed for 391 yards and rushed for 76 as the Raider offense overcame the absence of Mason, who was out with the flu.
Retzlaff had nine catches for 139 yards and defensive tackle David Weider had two-and-a-half sacks to help the SOU defense hold the NAIA’s most prolific offense well below its season averages.