The Montana State University-Northern Lights jumped all over Southern Oregon in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Lights, no lead against the Red Raiders' offense is ever safe. SOU scored 28 unanswered points and 35 total in the second quarter on its way to a commanding 65-34 win Saturday afternoon at Blue Pony Stadium in Havre.
The loss dropped the Lights to 2-4 on the season.
Northern started well, as Derek Lear connected with Brandon O'Brien and Mick Miller to put MSU-N ahead 14-3 in the first quarter. Lear also Kyle Johnston with a TD pass late in the first as MSU-N led 21-10. But the Raiders roared back behind the arm of quarterback Austin Dodge, who threw four TD's in an 11-minute span in the second period, while SOU also ran one in from one yard out. The Lights did get a second score from Brandon O'Brien late in the second period but the Raiders scored in the final two seconds of the half to lead 45-27.
Northern tried to rally in the second half, as the Lights did hold SOU to a couple of field goals early on, but two turnovers and several personal foul calls thwarted any chances of a true MSU-N comeback. Lear finished the game with 500 yards passing and five touchdowns. O'Brien caught seven balls for 173 yards as Northern gained 491 yard sof offense as SOU shut the Lights' running game down to -9 yards. The Raiders totaled a school-record 729 yards of offense including 502 passing by Dodge. Mike Olson caught 11 passes for 204 yards. MSU-N also turned the ball over four times and had 111 yards in penalties.
The Lights are on the road next week to take on Carroll College. SOU improved to 4-2 on the season with its first win over Northern since 2003.
For full coverage, see Monday's Havre Daily News.