Raiders climb to 19th in rankings

Southern Oregon's football team continued its climb up the NAIA rankings as the Raiders reached No. 19 in the latest coaches' Top 25 poll released Monday.

Fresh off three consecutive 60-plus-point performances — including a school-record 76 points Saturday against Montana Western — the 5-2 Raiders picked up 93 points to climb four spots from last week's 23rd ranking.

The 19th spot marks SOU's highest ranking since the Raiders reached No. 17 on Sept. 21, 2004.

The Raiders return home this weekend for a Frontier Conference showdown with No. 6 Carroll Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Raider Stadium. The game will be part of 2012 Hall of Fame weekend at SOU, with this year's athletics Hall of Fame banquet scheduled for Saturday morning and reunions for the 1962 and 2002 SOU football teams set for the day.

Fans are encouraged to wear red to Saturday's game as part of "Operation Red," which will include a free red T-shirt giveaway for the first 1,000 fans who arrive at Raider Stadium Saturday. The giveaway is sponsored by SOU athletics corporate partners Lithia Auto Stores, US Bank, Pacific Office Automation and the Raider Red Zone Football Alumni Club.

Carroll, 6-2 this season, picked up 255 points to lead Frontier Conference programs in the sixth spot, with Montana Tech (6-1) picking up 223 points to rank eighth.

PLAYER OF WEEK — Southern Oregon's Kalii Robinson helped hold Montana Western to 213 total yards and only 20 on the ground and was named Frontier Conference defensive player of the week.

Robinson totaled five tackles, including one for a loss, in leading an SOU defensive effort that forced three turnovers and a pair of safeties in the 76-29 rout.

The 20 rushing yards given up marked the fifth-best single-game effort in SOU history. He leads the team with 46 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss this season.

AVILA REPEATS — Southern Oregon's Eric Avila was named Cascade Collegiate Conference cross country runner of the week for the second straight time and the third time this season.

Avila was the top collegiate finisher at Saturday's Oregon State Beaver Classic in Corvallis, finishing second in the 8-kilometer race with a time of 24:32. His effort helped the top-ranked Raiders finish second overall in the men's race.

SOU PARTNERS UP — Southern Oregon athletics and Providence Medical Medford Center have teamed up for the second straight year for Breast Cancer Awareness.

With the agreement, SOU teams will host three home events to raise money, starting with Friday's volleyball match against Evergreen. SOU will also host Breast Cancer Awareness events during the basketball (Feb. 15) and softball seasons.

SOU will donate a portion of the paid admission to the Sister Therese Kohles Fund.

Fan are encouraged to wear pink at these events and will also have a chance to donate to the fund at the events.

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