NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! SOU tops Marian in NAIA football finals
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Austin Dodge led Southern Oregon to its first NAIA football championship, throwing for 429 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-31 victory over Marian College on Friday.
Dodge, the NAIA Player of the Year, was 21 of 39 for the Raiders (13-2). Melvin Mason, Dylan Young and Ryan Retzlaff caught touchdown passes and Mason also ran for 56 yards and three scores.
The Raiders took a 24-7 lead in the first quarter and led 38-10 at halftime.
After Marian (11-3) rallied with two third-quarter touchdowns, Dodge converted two third downs to set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Retzlaff on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 45-24.
Julius Rucker had two interceptions for Southern Oregon, returning one 54 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to make it 10-0. Ryan Retzlaff had five catches for 117 yards, and Matt Retzlaff had five receptions for 107 yards.
Hayden Northern threw for a school-record 495 yards for Marian, but had six interceptions. The Indiana school also lost a fumble. Anthony Jones Jr. had 17 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns.