Mesa 38, S. Oregon 7
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) _ Mike Vaughn scored three touchdowns on bursts of 63, 77 and 17 yards to lead fourth-ranked Mesa College to a 38-7 victory over Southern Oregon in an NAIA Division I quarterfinal playoff game Saturday.
Mesa, 11-0, put the game out of reach in the first minute of the second half when Vaughn scored two touchdowns.
The sophomore from Aurora, Colo., picked up a kickoff-return fumble by teammate Marlo Johnson on the Mesa 23 and ran 77 yards to give the Mavericks a 28-0 lead.
Southern Oregon, 7-4, fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, setting up Vaughn’s 17-yard TD run for a 35-0 Mesa lead.
Vaughn, who won the NAIA rushing title this season, finished with 153 rushing yards, 77 return yards and 51 pass receiving yards.
The Mavericks’ defense, led by linebackers John Pagano and Jay Madden, frustrated the 15th-ranked Raiders and allowed only a third-quarter touchdown pass from Rick Raish to Jeff Beathard.
Mesa jumped to a 7-0 lead when quarterback Tony Martin capped a 74-yard drive on the Mavericks’ first possession with a 1-yard touchdown run. Two consecutive offsides penalties by Southern Oregon and an 18-yard pass from Martin to Vaughn were the key plays.
The Raiders threw three straight incomplete passes and punted, and Mesa quickly scored again when Vaughn rambled 63 yards for a touchdown. The 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore broke six tackles and spun away from two other defenders before breaking clear for a 14-0 lead.
The Mavericks fumbled twice inside the Southern Oregon 20-yard line to squander scoring chances before Chris Hinkson scored from a yard out to give the Mavericks a 21-0 halftime lead.
His touchdown was set up by Gerry Strabala’s pass interception.