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SOU hangs on for road win at MSU-Northern

HAVRE, Mont. — Southern Oregon’s offense did its part in the first half and the defense came up with two big stops late as the Raiders hung on for a 27-19 win against Montana State-Northern on Saturday at Blue Pony Stadium, stopping a two-game skid.

Wyatt Hutchinson passed for 359 yards in his return to the lineup, and Jordan Suell snagged a pair of touchdown catches for the third game in a row, totaling 160 yards on nine receptions. The duo helped the Raiders (4-6 overall) build a lead that was 27-7 five minutes into the third quarter.

After the Lights (1-9) scored two straight touchdowns to get back into it — Cameron Taylor’s one-yard rush made it 27-19 with 9:27 remaining — the Raider defense halted the comeback by turning them away in SOU territory on their last two drives. Collin Crown and Noah Johnson headed the effort with seven tackles apiece, and Johnson forced two fumbles and recovered one.

At 4-5 in the Frontier Conference, the Raiders kept hope of a .500 season alive going into next Saturday’s finale at 23rd-ranked Montana Western.

The Lights have now dropped 36 consecutive Frontier games dating back to 2016.

Suell has now recorded seven TD catches in his last four games, 11 on the season and 26 in his career — the fourth-highest total in Raider history. The latest effort marked his highest yardage total at SOU in an FC game, and his TD catches went for 48 yards in the first quarter and one yard in the second to put the Raiders a 21-0 lead.

He also gave them a chance to put the game away in the fourth, making a 53-yard catch at the Lights’ 1-yard line with a 27-19 lead, but the ball was fumbled away three plays later.

Hutchinson, who missed his second game due to injury last week, completed 27-of-40 attempts without an interception. Hykeem Massey jump-started the offense with a 19-yard TD run to cap an 89-yard drive in the first, and Graycen Kennedy padded the lead with field goals of 29 and 27 yards.

Jason Shelley added two catches for 85 yards and Christian Graney had eight for 52.

SOU amassed 427 yards of offense to the Lights’ 422. MSU-Northern quarterback Brenden Medina completed 17-of-24 passes for 264 yards, and Jett Robertson rushed 14 times for 96 yards and a score.

Andy Atkinson / Ashland Tidings Southern Oregon University wide receiver Jordan Suell makes a catch for a touch-down in the second quarter.