ASHLAND, Ore. — The Orediggers will have to share the Frontier Conference title. They might have to also hit the road for the first round of the playoffs.
No. 12 Southern Oregon rolled to a 46-28 Frontier Conference victory over No. 7 Montana Tech this afternoon. Both teams are 8-2 and will be crowned “co-champions.” The Orediggers, though, hold the tiebreaker and the automatic berth in the playoffs.
The Raiders will also likely hear their named called when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday.
The big play sank the Orediggers Saturday. The Orediggers gave up touchdowns of 70, 66, 64 and 60 yards to the nation’s top offense.
Austin Dodge, the clear frontrunner to win the conferences Offensive Player of the Year award, passed for 486 yards and five touchdowns — to five different receivers. Manny Barragan ran for 197 yards, and the Raiders put up 697 yards of total offense.
Southern Oregon led 34-0 before the Orediggers got on the board with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Nick Baker to James Roberts. Baker passed for 260 yards and three touchdowns. He also hooked up with Trent Thomas and Alec Bray for score.
Pat Hansen ran for 162 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season with 1,085 yards.
Thomas caught 10 passes for 102 yards in the loss. Ketwuan Frnak picked off a pass and returned it 51 yards to set up Thomas’ touchdown. Mike Touzinsky registered a team-leading nine tackles. He also forced a fumble.
The loss snapped a string of eight straight wins for the Orediggers.