The victory snaps the Raiders’ 5-game losing streak while for the third straight time Azusa Pacific drops a contest in the final 2 minutes of play.
Though the offense struggled throughout most of the day, the Cougars put together back-to-back scoring drives to open the second half and overcame a 13-0 halftime deficit with a pair of James Brunt 1-yard touchdown blasts to give the Cougars a 14-13 lead with 7 minutes left in the third quarter.
However, Azusa Pacific did not manufacture another first down the rest of the game, managing just 10 more yards of total offense over its final 13 snaps of the game.
With 5:47 left in the game, SOU began its game-winning drive, motoring from its own 20-yard line to the Cougar 26, using a pair of pass interference penalties on their cause. From there, O’Neill successfully booted a 43-yard field to give the Raiders the lead for good and make amends on a 50-yarder that he missed earlier in the fourth quarter.
Southern Oregon’s Marlon Rosales scored the game’s first touchdown on a 17-yard run to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead to close out the first quarter. O’Neill added a pair of second-quarter field goals, a 31-yarder and then a 50-yarder as time expired on the half.
Azusa Pacific managed just 139 yards of total offense, 117 of which came on the 2 scoring drives. Meanwhile, Southern Oregon tallied 307 yards but was hindered by a hefty 11 penalties that negated 81 yards.
Led by Rosales’ 124 rushing yards on 29 carries, Southern Oregon held the ball for a whopping 38 minutes, frustrating Azusa Pacific’s offensive chances.
Chris Brown led the Cougar offense with 73 rushing yards on 14 carries. Freshman QB John van den Raadt completed 7-of-18 passes for 55 yards and was sacked a season-high 3 times.
Sophomore Jay York led the Cougar defense with a career-high 13 tackles (6 solo), including 1 for loss. Defensive backs Brent Willard and Beau Leaman each added 9 tackles.
With the loss, the Cougars fall to 1-6, while Southern Oregon, which has now defeated Azusa Pacific in 3 straight, improves to 2-5.