The Southern Oregon University football team moved up two spots to No. 20 in this week's NAIA rankings following its fifth straight win Saturday.
The Raiders (6-2 overall, 6-1 Frontier Conference) rejoined the Top 25 poll last week for the first time since the preseason. Their 51-16 defeat of Montana Western was on par with the rest of the streak, during which they've won by an average of 37.4 points.
It also set up a monster clash Saturday against Carroll, which remained the highest ranked team in the Frontier at No. 5. The Saints (7-1, 6-1) and Raiders will break a first-place tie in Helena, Mont., and the winner will have the inside track to the conference's automatic berth in the 16-team NAIA Championship Series.
Rocky Mountain (6-2, 5-2) was not penalized by raters after forfeiting its Aug. 31 game against SOU last week. The Battlin' Bears, who on Saturday beat up on last-place Dickinson State, actually moved up two spots to No. 8 as the only other Frontier team in the poll.
Morningside (Iowa) remained in the top spot, garnering all 14 first-place votes.
Last year William Penn (Iowa) had the lowest ranking of any team to earn an at-large spot in the postseason at 13th.
Southern Oregon University cross country runner Eric Avila and football player Laurence Calcagno pulled in conference player of the week recognition Monday after putting together their strongest performances of the fall season in recent days.
Avila won his second straight race for the second-ranked SOU men's team Friday at the Beaver Classic in Corvallis. His time of 24 minutes, 15 seconds cleared the field by six seconds and made him the Cascade Conference men's runner of the week.
The junior from Chula Vista, Calif., also won the Lewis & Clark Invitational on Oct. 19 and was the NAIA runner of the week following his seventh-place finish at the Sept. 28 Stanford Invitational. He'll be the favorite heading into the Cascade Conference Championships on Nov. 9 in Caldwell, Idaho.
Calcagno, a senior from Canby, became the first Raider football player this season to be recognized as the Frontier Conference's defensive player of the week for making his mark all over the stat sheet in Saturday's 51-16 win over Montana Western.
The Raiders got seven solo tackles, three assisted, two for losses, an interception and a forced fumble out of Calcagno. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker also helped SOU hold UMW to 3.1 yards per carry, which was half of the Bulldogs' average when the teams met earlier this season.
Southern Oregon University put 20 fall sports athletes on the U.S. Bank Academic All-Cascade Collegiate Conference team, the conference office announced Monday.
The Raider cross country teams were represented by Eric Ghelfi, Jared Hixon, Rebecca Lupescu, Dylan Paulk, Jessie Rozario, Alexandra Rudd, Alex Schroeder, Tyler VanDyke and Matt Williams.
The women's soccer team had eight selections: Alyssa Bricker, Elise De Jesse, Paige Kilpatrick, Kendra Madaras-Kelly, Jaclyn McQuiston, Sydney Paulsen, Allyson Ward, and Julie Zamzow.
Tyana Andrews, Sam Boehnke and Brookelynn Cole were the volleyball team's representatives.
The complete team was made up of 198 CCC student-athletes. To qualify, one must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 and sophomore standing.