It’s still just pre-season for the Southern Oregon Renegades, but every game is important. This past Saturday, the rebuilding Gades took a trip to Willow, Calif., and came home with a 20-7 win over the Northern Cal Sun Devils.
“The game was a battle as both teams tried to settle down and get their offense under control,” Renegades owner Rockne DeMello told DFUSA.
— So.Oregon Renegades (@sorenegades) February 29, 2016
The Renegades got off to an early 12-0 lead before the Sun Devils scored moments before half to make it a one-score game again. After halftime, Southern Oregon added another touchdown and the defense stood strong for the rest of the game.
Not only did the Renegades win convincingly against a team from the United Football League, they also controlled the line of scrimmage on offense for much of the game. The offensive line play paved the way for Daniel Welcome to rush for almost 100 yards and two touchdowns, while a familiar face found his rhythm behind center.
“We had a quarterback, Dylan Lubonski, who played two years ago return and he controlled the offense,” DeMello said. “He is a mobile quarterback who remained calm under pressure.”
Defensively, linebacker Darryl McBride led the way with six sacks, while free safety DaMilyn Tanner brought the wood, forcing two fumbles with monster hits. Strong Safety James Snyder was also consistently around the ball and in on the majority of tackles. Snyder had a 105-yard fumble return touchdown that was unfortunately called back.
“It was also a homecoming game for our new coach, Bill Carlen, who played 22 years in the Bay Area and coached eight years there,” DeMello said. “Many other California players are on our team as well.”
This win provided a nice confidence boost to Southern Oregon, which was shutout two weeks ago at home by the Pacific Northwest Blizzard 21-0.
The Renegades will continue to fine-tune their squad over these next seven weeks before they return home for another pre-season game versus the Cowlitz Cobras on April 23.
“Our focus going forward is recruiting open spots and getting better conditioned for our season which kicks off May 14 at home,” DeMello said.