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Southern Oregon University redshirt-junior Rey Vega races past the reach of Carroll College defender Craig Kein at Raider Stadium on Saturday.[PHOTO BY: LARRY STAUTH JR]

Vega earns Frontier Conference honors

Senior running back Rey Vega was voted a Frontier Conference Player of the Week for the third time as a Raider on Monday, collecting the offensive award for his performance in Southern Oregon’s 35-28 win Saturday against The College of Idaho.

Vega took 24 carries 158 yards against the Yotes and sparked the victory with a 35-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 22-yard run in the fourth that put the Raiders up two scores. It was his eighth consecutive game with at least one rushing TD, and he became the ninth Raider ever to compile 20 rushing TDs in a career.

Through two weeks, Vega ranks No. 8 in the NAIA and No. 2 in the Frontier at 131 rushing yards per game. Dating back to last season, he’s surpassed the 100-yard mark in four of his last six starts.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, the No. 3-ranked Raiders will host No. 23 Montana Tech in another Frontier battle. In last year’s matchup with the Diggers, Vega scored three touchdowns with 155 total yards.

RAIDERS MOVE UP ONE SPOT IN NAIA RANKINGS: Off to a 2-0 start, Southern Oregon University moved up one spot to No. 3 in the first NAIA Top 25 football coaches’ poll of the regular season, which was released Monday by the national office.

Montana Tech’s rise also means Raider Stadium will play host to a Top 25 matchup at 1 p.m. Saturday: The Diggers, SOU’s next opponent, went from unranked to No. 23 after starting their season with wins against The College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon (which were also the first two teams on the Raiders’ schedule).

Another Frontier Conference squad, Rocky Mountain (Mont.), also jumped to No. 14 from No. 20 despite having to forfeit one of its three wins due to the use of an ineligible player. Montana Western (2-0), the FC’s only other unbeaten team next to SOU and Tech, is the first team out of the poll at No. 26 overall.

Saint Francis (Ind.) retained the top spot unanimously and Morningside (Iowa) stayed at No. 2. Reinhardt (Ga.) made way for SOU’s jump by dropping to No. 7 from No. 2.

A new poll will be released every week for the remainder of the regular season.

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