EOU’s Mahonri Bostrom jumps through an attempted tackle by a Raiders defender during a 73-20 loss Saturday. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Southern Oregon beats Eastern Oregon 73-20 at Community Stadium
The Eastern Oregon University football team fell to 0-4 with a 73-20 loss to Southern Oregon University Saturday at Community Stadium.
In a game between in-state rivals, the Raiders (1-3) outgained the Mountaineers 620 yards to 430 yards in total offense.
“We missed a lot of plays out there,” quarterback Zach Bartlow said. “We’re making too many mistakes, too many mental errors. We just gotta focus better and control what we can control.”
The game was a back-and-forth tilt early on. After holding the Raiders to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, the Mountaineers put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended on a 36-yard touchdown run by Chris McGinnis-Parker.
Southern Oregon responded with a 7-play, 66-yard drive and tied the game on a short touchdown run by Zach Marshall.
The Raiders took the lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Austin Dodge to Matt Retzlaff with 1:36 left in the first quarter.
But the Mountaineers answered right back, with Mahonri Bostrom breaking off a 68-yard run to the two yard line and Bartlow finding McGinnis-Parker to tie the game at 14-all.
“We ran the ball and got ahead of the chains a little bit,” EOU head coach Tim Camp said of the Mountaineers’ first-quarter success. “Early on we were able to set the tone, set the tempo.”
It was Southern Oregon that got all the tempo after the first quarter. Dodge found Retzlaff on a short touchdown toss to put the Raiders up 21-14 with 12:48 left in the first half. The duo hooked up again two minutes later to make it 28-14 in favor of SOU.
Dodge threw two more touchdowns — one to Ryan Retzlaff and another to Matt Retzlaff — before the end of the quarter to stretch the Raiders’ lead to 41-14 at halftime.
“There wasn’t anything that (SOU) did today that we didn’t know,” Camp said. “I told you guys last week what they were gonna do and it was right on. I think we just need to be better at a few different positions.”
After putting up 178 yards in the first quarter, the Mountaineers only gained 77 yards in the second quarter.
“Mental mistakes at a lot of different areas of the ball,” Bartlow said. “They became more aggressive on our bubble screens. They made some adjustments and we couldn’t fix them.”
Eastern Oregon opened the third quarter with a fumble that Southern Oregon recovered. The Raiders turned it into eight points when Dodge found Marshall on a four-yard touchdown pass. Southern Oregon converted a two-point conversion to make it 49-14.
SOU added a field goal later in the third quarter.
“I was very confident in the game plan,” said EOU defensive back Ronnie Flowers, who had an interception in the game. “We had five DBs out there that we believed could prevent them from getting the big play. We knew exactly what they were gonna do. They just did a better job than we did.”
Dodge completed 29-of-42 passes for 355 yards and six touchdowns. Matt Retzlaff caught 10 passes for 141 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for one score.
Marshall carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards and a score.
Bartlow played the entire first half, the first time the Mountaineers have used one quarterback for an entire half this season. The redshirt freshman completed 18-of-25 passes for 120 yards and one score. He also rushed for 33 yards.
McGinnis-Parker had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, carrying the ball 14 times for 123 yards and a score. Bostrom had seven carries for 95 yards.
The Mountaineers are 0-4 for the first time under Camp. It’s the first time since 2007 that the Mountaineers have started 0-4. That year EOU started 0-6 before picking up its first win.
“When you win you give credit, and when you lose you take the credit,” Camp said. “I’m taking full responsibility for this. We’ve won a lot of football games here at Eastern. We just gotta get back on the winning side. I’m not panicked. I’m not anything. We just gotta keep going.”
EOU hosts No. 4 Carroll College Saturday at 1 p.m. at Community Stadium. The Saints are 4-0 after defeating Rocky Mountain College 24-17 Saturday.