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Raiders hit the road for Rocky Mt. clash

Southern Oregon looks to stay perfect in Frontier play
 Posted: 2:00 AM September 07, 2012

The Southern Oregon football team faces its first Frontier Conference road game this weekend when the Raiders take on Rocky Mountain College Saturday at noon PDT.

It will be the third meeting between the Raiders and the Bears, with SOU holding a 3-0 advantage in the series.

Southern Oregon dominated the first two games against Rocky Mountain, winning 50-7 at home in 2001 and 37-13 on the road in 2002. The last game in the series was closer, a 13-7 SOU win in Billings in 2004.

"We've got to travel well, be mature and go on this trip with a chance to go 1-0 on the road," SOU head coach Craig Howard said. "When you go on the road, you've got to be together and focused and have great concentration."

Southern Oregon opened the season in impressive fashion with a 54-21 victory over Montana Western last Saturday at Spiegelberg Stadium in Medford.

Austin Dodge was named Frontier Conference offensive player of the week after completing 27 of 40 passes for 359 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Mike Olson was named special teams player of the week after he scored a touchdown trifecta with one rushing, one receiving and one on a punt return.

The Raider offense totaled 585 yards and averaged 6.9 yards per play, and it converted 9 of 18 third-down attempts. Manny Barragan rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown, and Zach Marshall broke a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Cole McKenzie had a team-high nine catches for 153 yards and a score.

Rocky Mountain is 2-0, defeating Jamestown College 38-19 at home on Aug. 24 and taking down Dickinson State 30-19 on the road last Saturday.

The Bears were picked to finish fourth in the conference preseason rankings, behind Carroll, Montana-State Northern and Eastern Oregon. SOU was picked fifth.

"They've got a lot of confidence," Howard said. "They're a good football team, and well coached. They have an outstanding offense, a quarterback that is a dynamic player. Defensively they fly around and hit you."

Through two games, the Bears have averaged 332 offensive yards and have scored five touchdowns through the air and four on the ground.

Bryce Baker has completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 420 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions, and he has also run for 47 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

Andre McCollouch leads the team with 183 yards and two scores on 13 catches, and Mickey Payne's 129 rushing yards and three touchdowns lead the team.

"Their offense is similar to ours," Howard said. "They're a fast-paced offense that spreads the ball around. It's a mirror image of each other on offense. So it's going to be a great game."

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