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The Observer Paper 11/26/14

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After a one-week reprieve, it's back to another powerhouse opponent for the Mountaineers.

The Eastern Oregon football squad concludes its tough schedule Saturday with a game in Ashland versus Southern Oregon University.

Southern Oregon (6-2) was ranked No. 9 in the latest NAIA poll. The Raiders are the fifth ranked team the Mountaineers have played in the past seven weeks.

But, the Mountaineers (1-8, NCAA Div. III independent) are riding high after their 46-28 win last week over the University of Puget Sound.

After a slow start, Eastern freshman Justin Alsterlund had a monster game against UPS. He had 192 all-purpose yards (punt returns, kickoff returns, rushing and pass receiving) in the third quarter and ended up with 208 all-purpose yards for the game.

Just that one game moved Alsterlund from No. 9 in NCAA Division III punt return average to No. 2. He is now averaging 18.0 yards a punt return.

Freshman quarterback Scott Jensen also had a huge day, passing for 194 yards and four touchdowns on only 13 passes.

The 46-point outburst was the most points the Mountaineers had scored since September 2000, when Eastern scored 49 against Simon Fraser University.

Last week, Southern Oregon beat the University of San Diego, a Div. I-AA school, 31-10.

Last year, Southern Oregon beat Eastern 38-24.

The only common opponent between Eastern and Southern is Linfield. Linfield beat Southern in the first week of the season 42-35 in double overtime. The Wildcats beat Eastern 51-14 Oct. 19.

Southern is not only another offensive dreadnought on the Mountaineers' schedule, its offense couldn't be any more balanced. Southern rushes for 197.5 yards a game and passes for 197.4 yards a game.

Dusty McGrorty is the Raiders' main offensive force. Even though he missed a game, the running back has rushed for 1,074 yards — an average of 153.4 yards a game.

The Raiders also play tough defense. They give up only 304.4 yards a game, and only 103.4 yards rushing a game.

Because the Baker Bulldogs have a Saturday afternoon playoff game that is being broadcast, Eastern's game can be heard locally on 99.9 FM KWRL beginning at 1 p.m.


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