Raiders give fans a glimpse

The Southern Oregon University offense and defense both had their moments at the final fall football scrimmage of the preseason.

Playing at the SOU practice field since Raider Stadium was soggy after recent thunderstorms, the controlled scrimmage featured a pair of touchdowns by the SOU offense.

The highlight was a 14-yard touchdown reception by senior Brandon Stout on a corner pattern. A combination of the second and third team offense added a late score.

The defense was impressive throughout the scrimmage, including a fumble recovery by Kenrick Baker.

"Both sides of the ball had their moments," third-year head coach Steve Helminiak said. "We have a week to go now and we still have some things to work on."

The Raiders open the season Thursday, Aug. 28 at Montana Tech. The Orediggers are ranked 21st in the Preseason NAIA Top 25 poll.

A year after securing the program's first winning record (5-4) since 2003, the Raiders know expectations are high.

"The bar has been raised," Helminiak said. "The confidence is higher, the talent level is higher. We want to keep getting better and get this program back in the playoffs."

The Raiders have a rugged 2008 schedule. SOU plays two NCAA Division I schools (Sacramento State and South Dakota), two NCAA Division II schools (Humboldt State and Western Oregon), three NCAA Division III schools (Willamette, Linfield and Mary Hardin-Baylor) and three NAIA schools (Montana Tech, Azusa Pacific and Eastern Oregon).

"Every time we go out we are going to have our hands full," Helminiak said. "And we've stressing that through camp. We have to be ready to play every time we go out and can't let up. That's the difference between winning and losing."

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