SOU held to only a field goal in second half, final drive comes up just short
ASHLAND – No. 11-ranked Carroll (Mont.) turned Southern Oregon over on downs 8 yards short of the end zone in the final minute to escape with a 21-13 Frontier Conference win Saturday afternoon at Raider Stadium.
The Saints (7-1 overall, 5-1 FC), who have conceded more than 20 points once in FC play, limited SOU (4-4, 3-3) to just a field goal in the second half and spoiled a performance in which the Raider defense held them to 191 total yards. They kept pace with first-place College of Idaho, remaining a half-game back in the standings with two weeks left in the regular season and ending SOU’s winning streak at three games.
Carroll defensive back Daxon Graham set the tone with a 45-yard interception return for the first points of the day 10 minutes in. The Saints started both of their scoring drives in Raider territory: Jack Prka was limited to 12-of-27 passing, but he made TD connections of 14 yards with Camron Rothie in the second quarter and 19 yards with Jaden Harrison in the third.
Harrison’s score put the Saints up 21-10 before SOU kicker Brian Batres made a 32-yard field goal, his second of the day, to make it a one-score game with 2:17 left in the third.
Three consecutive defensive stops kept the Raiders within striking distance. They took over for the last time at their own 27-yard line with just under five minutes to play, and two minutes later Avery McCuaig converted a 4th-and-1 with a short rush into Carroll territory. On the very next play, Asciutto’s 35-yard completion to Cleveland Sawyer to set them up with first down at the 13.
They’d travel only 5 more yards. On 4th-and-5 out of a timeout, Asciutto pass to Ted Wickman out of a timeout flew high and untouched.
Asciutto finished 16-of-29 for 147 yards, finding Cleveland six times for 101 of those. McCuaig rushed 21 times for 70 yards and accounted for the Raiders’ only touchdown, a two-yard leap that cut Carroll’s 14-0 lead in half midway through the second quarter. As time expired before half, Batres’s 42-yard field goal trimmed the deficit to four points.
Freshman linebacker Iona Purcell led the Raider defense with eight tackles. Ty Glumbik recorded seven with one for a loss, while Mipam Jampa and Noah Turnbull both had sacks. Seth Miller and Cente Borja combined to break up five passes.
SOU plays at Eastern Oregon next Saturday before closing the regular season against College of Idaho on Nov. 11 at Raider Stadium.