Raiders put scare in D-I Hornets

A pair of missed opportunities allowed NCAA Division IAA Sacramento State to escape with a 27-16 victory over NAIA Southern Oregon on Saturday in Sacramento, Calif.

The Hornets are now 2-1 overall, while SOU dropped to 1-2 overall. The Raiders play NCAA Division III Willamette this Saturday.

"I can't be disappointed with how we played today," SOU third-year coach Steve Helminiak said. "We came out and gave a (NCAA) Division I program all they could handle. This was a game we had a chance to win. Our guys never gave up and made plays the whole game on both sides of the ball."

SOU's defense almost got the Raiders on the board during the Sac State's first drive. Junior defensive end Sunni Ali picked off a pass and raced 82 yards before being caught inside the five-yard line and fumbling the ball out of the end zone. The Hornets then got the ball on the 20 after the touchback and marched all the way down to take an early 7-0 lead.

The Raiders bounced back and drove 58 yards in 11 plays to set up a 29 yard field goal by senior Corey O'Neil to cut the lead to 7-3.

The Hornets added a pair of quick touchdowns in the second quarter and seemed to be sitting comfortably at 21-3 with 10:17 to play in the second quarter.

The Raiders though used a pair of big passes by senior Bryan Lee-Lauduski to get back in business. The first was a 16-yard strike to senior tight end Drew Dukeshire. Lee-Lauduski then connected with Vance Beach for 37 yards to give the Raiders a first and goal at the Sac State 2-yard line.

Three straight rushes by junior Marquis Malcolm moved it up to the one and then Lee-Lauduski tried a quarterback sneak which resulted in a one-yard loss on fourth down.

The Raider defense held Sac State bay for the rest of the half and the Hornets led 21-3 at halftime.

SOU took the opening kickoff in the second half and again marched the ball down the field. A 27-yard pass to Dukeshire helped set up a beautiful 29-yard touchdown strike to senior Darryl Price. After a blocked point after attempt, SOU had trimmed the lead to 21-9.

The Hornets added a field goal at the 3:06 mark for a 24-9 lead and after the Raiders were forced to punt, senior punter Steve Palmer helped out the Raider defense with an 81-yard punt to the SOU 17. The punt was the second longest in SOU history.

The Raider defense then swarmed the Sac State quarterback, forcing the ball loose and SOU senior linebacker Damario Watson recovered the ball at the Sac State 13. Lee-Lauduski then connected with senior Brandon Stout on the first down play to cut the lead to 24-16 with 1:26 left in the third quarter.

Sac State then methodically pushed the ball up the field, added a field goal at the 12:34 mark in the fourth quarter for a 27-16 advantage.

The teams then traded punts and Sac State ran out the last 6:33 of the game to secure the victory.

Lee-Lauduski finished the game with 231 yards on 16 of 24 passing. Stout, Beach, Dukeshire and Price all had three catches a piece. Stout led in yards with 60.

Parker Paredes led the Raider defense with 10 tackles, while Kenrick Baker had nine stops.

Evander Wilkins (161) and Jake Croxdale (109) both rushed for over a 100 yards for the Hornets.


The Southern Oregon University volleyball team hit .349 as a team and cruised to a 25-15, 25-12, 25-18 sweep of Northwest University on Saturday night in Kirkland, Wash.

The Raiders have now won two straight and are 5-7 overall and 3-1 in Cascade Conference play. Northwest fell to 3-8 overall and 0-4 overall.

SOU returns to McNeal Pavilion this weekend when they host Concordia on Friday and Corban on Saturday.

Senior Mia Wortel led the Raiders with nine kills and just one error to go along with seven blocks. Sophomore Samantha Yutzie also had nine kills.

The Raiders' impressive night swinging was highlighted by a .500 effort in the second set which featured 15 kills and just two errors in 26 attempts.

Lindsey Stone had 22 assists for the Raiders and Maggie Rivers had eight digs.

Lauren Holtz led Northwest with nine kills.

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