Another convincing win resulted in another move up the NAIA Top 25 coaches' poll for the Southern Oregon University football team, which ascended four spots to No. 9 in Monday's latest edition.
Off to a 4-0 start in the Frontier Conference, the Raiders, who started the season 25th, cracked the top 10 for the first time since Oct. 10 of last year. They benefited from three teams ahead of them losing — then-No. 7 Doane (Neb.), No. 10 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 11 Saint Xavier (Ill.) — and also jumped still-unbeaten Arizona Christian, which went from 12th to 10th.
The Raiders had a five-touchdown lead by halftime of Saturday's 35-14 defeat of Carroll (Mont.). They've led by at least 17 points in every game, winning by an average of 17.8, and haven't trailed since the first quarter of their season-opening victory against Eastern Oregon.
At No. 5 for the third week in a row, Montana Tech (4-0) is the only other Frontier team still among the Top 25. On Saturday the Orediggers pounded Eastern Oregon, 62-14. They'll host SOU in the final game of the regular season on Nov. 11.
SOU hosts 3-1 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), the first team outside the Top 25, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Fans are encouraged to buy tickets online at souraiders.com/tickets in order to avoid lines.
Isiah Carter's part in Southern Oregon's defensive dominance Saturday against Carroll (Mont.) made him the Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Carter, a senior and fourth-year starting linebacker from Las Vegas, had a career-high three sacks in the 35-14 victory at Raider Stadium, all during a first half in which SOU held the Saints without a point. He made seven total tackles and brought his career total to 265, moving into the No. 4 spot on the all-time Raider list.
As a team, the Raiders recorded seven sacks for the second time this year. With an average of 4.9 per game, they rank second in the NAIA in that category, and continue to lead the Frontier in points allowed (22.0) and yards allowed (326.8) per game.
Junior linebacker Devvon Gage had another big hand in the performance with a team-high 15 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.