BUTTE, Mont. — For the second consecutive year, a back-and-forth offensive battle between Southern Oregon and Montana Tech ended with the 16th-ranked Diggers celebrating a double-overtime victory.
Montana Tech (4-1) beat SOU (2-2) 48-45 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Coliseum.
Last season, the Diggers edged the Raiders 50-47.
Both teams had a chance to win it in regulation, with each team's kicker missing a potential game-winning field goal to the left side within the final minutes. Montana Tech held SOU to a field goal in the second overtime, and Hansen picked up the one-yard touchdown run to clinch the victory.
Austin Dodge tied his career-high mark with 56 pass attempts and shattered the SOU single-game record with 42 completions. The previous mark was 36 by Dan Walters in a game against Willamette during the 2000 season. Dodge finished with 389 yards passing and four touchdowns to go with one interception.
Patrick Donahue led both teams with 13 catches, and Cole McKenzie caught 12 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Olson finished with eight catches for 103 yards and a score through the air and another on the ground, and Manny Barragan tallied 118 rushing yards.
For Montana Tech, Nick Baker completed 33 of 46 pass attempts for 320 yards and four touchdowns, and Pat Hansen rushed for two touchdowns and 173 yards while adding six catches for 78 yards. Zack Kinney caught 10 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
The teams exchanged field goals on their first two drives, and Olson picked up a touchdown run late in the first quarter to put SOU up 11-3. Baker threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Lucero to pull Tech within one at 11-10 on the Diggers' next drive, and he connected with James Roberts for a one-yard touchdown and made the two-point conversion to give Montana Tech an 18-11 lead a few minutes later. Southern Oregon drove down the field in the final minutes of the second quarter, but the Raiders had to settle for a 28-yard Amsler field goal as time expired in the opening half.
The Raiders received the ball to begin the second half, and Dodge led his offense down the field to regain the lead on a touchdown pass to McKenzie to make it 21-18. Montana Tech responded with a 30-yard field goal on its next possession to tie it up at 21.
Southern Oregon faked a punt on the ensuing drive, as Amsler crossed midfield to pick up the first down on fourth-and-three with about five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The fake paid off, as a few plays later Olson took a screen pass to the house for a 46-yard touchdown.
Hansen matched that on the next drive, breaking through the SOU defense for a 46-yard scoring run to tie it up again at 28 in the closing minutes of the quarter. Montana Tech grabbed the momentum on the next drive, when the Diggers intercepted Dodge and used a big play on offense to bring up first-and-goal from the five-yard line. Roberts carried it into the endzone two plays later for the touchdown to put MT up 35-28.
The Raiders went for it on fourth-and-two around midfield and drew the Diggers offsides to extend the drive in MT territory. That wouldn't do much to help SOU, however, as a fumble two plays later gave Montana Tech its second consecutive turnover recovery. Southern Oregon's defense stepped up to hold the Diggers, and the Raiders regained possession deep in their own territory with just under 10 minutes to play.
Dodge converted a big third-down play with a 30-yard pass to Olson to continue SOU's drive and move the Raiders down to the SOU 37-yard line. The Raiders picked up a couple more third-down conversions on the drive as they moved dowfield before Montana Tech finally held to force a fourth-and-goal at the MT four-yard line.
The Raiders went for it on fourth down, and Dodge's pass was batted at the line and caught by offensive lineman Clay Sierra for the improbable game-tying touchdown with 4:26 to play. Southern Oregon's defense stepped up again to hold Montana Tech, bringing down Hansen for a loss of six on third-down to give the Raiders the ball back with 2:34 left in the game at the SOU 48-yard line.
Montana Tech held Barragan for a stop on third-down at the 24-yard line with 38 seconds to play, sending Amsler out for the 41-yard field goal attempt. The junior missed the kick to the left, however, giving Montana Tech the ball with 34 seconds to play and one timeout.
The Diggers moved the ball down to the SOU 32-yard line and stopped the clock with one second left on the clock to give Berg a 49-yard field goal attempt for the win. Berg also missed left, and the teams went to overtime for the second consecutive year.
Montana Tech opened the first overtime period with the ball, and Baker found Kinny in the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown to take a 42-35 lead. The Digger defense immediately forced a fourth-and-seven for SOU, but Dodge went big and found McKenzie for a 22-yard touchdown pass to tie it up and force a second overtime.
The Raiders began the second overtime with the ball, and Dodge quickly hit Donahue for a 14-yard reception. Montana Tech's defense held following that play, and Amsler hit a 26-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 45-42 lead heading into the Diggers' possession. After Baker connected with Roberts down to the two, an SOU penalty gave Montana Tech first-and-goal from the one-yard line. Hansen took the handoff on the next play and ran it in for the game-ending touchdown.
Southern Oregon returns to action next weekend when the Raiders host No. 14 Eastern Oregon on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. at Raider Stadium.
Montana Tech 48 , Southern Oregon 45, 2OT
At Alumni Coliseum
Southern Oregon 11 3 14 7 —45
Montana Tech 3 15 10 7 —48
MT — FG Berg 27
SOU — FG Amsler 29
SOU — Olson 2 run (Sierra pass from Dodge)
MT — Lucero 15 pass from Baker (Berg kick)
MT — Roberts 3 pass from Baker (Bray pass from Baker)
SOU — FG Amsler 28
SOU — McKenzie 5 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
MT — FG Berg 30
SOU — Olson 46 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
MT — Hansen 46 run (Berg kick)
MT — Roberts 7 pass to Baker (Berg kick)
SOU — Sierra 3 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
MT — Kinney 11 pass from Baker (Berg kick)
SOU — McKenzie 22 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — FG Amsler 26
MT — Hansen 1 run
First Downs 30 28
Rushes-Yards 49-200 39-225
Passing Yards 389 320
Comp-Att-Int 42-57-1 33-48-0
Total Yards 589 545
Punts 2-43 3-39
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 12-87 6-46
Southern Oregon — Barragan 32-118, Marshall 5-50, Amsler 1-16, Olson 7-10, Dodge 4-6.
Montana Tech — Hansen 24-173, Baker 11-47, Schwarzkoph 1-4, Rowe 2-4, Thomas 1-(-3).
Southern Oregon — Dodge 42-56-1 389.
Montana Tech — Baker 33-46-0 320, Bray 0-1-0 0.
Southern Oregon — McKenzie 12-147, Olson 8-103, Donahue 13-80, Barragan 3-30, Otaguro 2-16, Marshall 2-5, McShane 1-5, Sierra 1-3.
Montana Tech — Hansen 6-78, Kinney 10-76, Thomas 6-73, Roberts 5-42, Bray 3-30, Lucero 1-15, Halko 1-8, Rowe 1-(-2).