WOODLAND — The second-ranked Sunnyside Christian Knights battered Naselle 62-14 Friday, Oct. 28. Antonio Nolan’s three interceptions were the main bright spot for Naselle, which also got a kickoff return for a touchdown from Ethan Lindstrom.
The Knights featured a fast-paced, no-huddle offense run by quarterback Chance Marsh, throwing to big, fast targets: his twin brother Lane Marsh and the 6’2” Luke Wagenaar. Yet another Marsh brother, running back Kyler, outran the Comet defense to the outside. The Knights pass rush sacked Cole Dorman six times. The Comets knew they needed a challenging game before the playoffs after breezing through the Coastal League, and the Knights certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard.
“We wanted to see where we were, and it turns out we’re not quite where we thought,” Comets coach Jeff Eaton said. “We sometimes don’t find out a lot from league games. We played Wahkiakum, which turned out to be a strong team, top ten in 2B, in week one (a 22-8 loss), and we haven’t really had a challenge since.”
On the game’s opening play, Chance Marsh hit Wagenaar with a perfect pass that went 40 yards in the air, getting it high for his big target to beat solid coverage from Nolan. That started a four-play, eighty-yard scoring drive that took only 1:28. The Knights took a 22-0 lead five minutes into the game, at which point the Comets had only run three plays.
The Knights’ ensuing onside kick got past the Comets’ first line of defense, but Ethan Lindstrom gathered it, ran past Knights players who were still going after the ball, and returned it all the way to put Naselle on the board. The Knights answered with an 11-play, 90-yard drive to go up 30-6 with 2:48 in the quarter.
At the end of the quarter, Antonio Nolan intercepted a deep pass intended for Wagenaar, recovering when Wagenaar gained a step on him and leaping backward to win the battle for the slightly underthrown ball. On the Knights’ next possession, Nolan read a route and picked off another pass near the end zone.
Josh Townsen scored the Comets’ second touchdown, breaking a tackle on a 21-yard catch-and-run to make it 38-14. The Comets had another good scoring chance near the end of the half, but ran out of time. The fast-paced Knights led 54-14 at the break, and the second half went quickly with a running clock.
The Comets will get a first-round playoff bye, then play a playoff game the second weekend of November.