Saints Ready for Southern Oregon's High Flying Offense on Saturd - News, Sports and Weather

Saints Ready for Southern Oregon's High Flying Offense on Saturday

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As the Carroll Saints head to Ashland, Oregon for their first game of the season with Southern Oregon, they're definitely weary of the dangers that lie in what some people are calling the top offense in the nation.

"We know about Dodge and the Retzlaff brothers and everybody else, but they ran for over 250 yards last week," said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "So defensively we can't just be tuned in on the fade routes we have to step up and play the run."

The biggest challenge to the Saints will be the Raiders senior QB Austin Dodge, who has thrown an NAIA leading 93 touchdowns since 2012.

"He's got the best arm I've ever seen," said Saints senior middle linebacker Sean Blomquist. "He throws the deep ball extremely well. He's very accurate."

"We've got to do our job," said Van Diest. "We've got to stay in our lanes for pass rush. We have to make sure that we keep him in the pocket. He loves to throw on time. It's hard to get a lot of pressure on him to get sacks. Defensively we have to contest the routes. We got to have guys in position to play the ball."

While the Raiders offense will keep the Saints on their toes, Carroll is hoping that they can do the same in junior quarterback Mac Roche's first career start.

"I'm not feeling a whole lot of pressure," said Roche. "I know my offensive line will take care of me and I'm just focusing on our game plan right now. And Rinker is just a horse. We can give it to him every down if we wanted to. And you've got the veteran wide receivers that we do. So it is pretty nice for me stepping into this situation."

"If he's prepared for it he shouldn't have any problems," said Van Diest. "Obviously that's easier said than done by me, but he's got to go out there and execute. This is his fourth year in the program. He's watched a lot of good players behind Broadhead and Dakota Stonehouse so he knows what is expected of him."

The Saints always pride themselves on their defense, which will certainly be tested on Saturday at 1:00.

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